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Royal opening for our museum scheme

His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent was suitably impressed with the transformation of Folkestone Town Hall when he declared the new museum officially open this week (Thursday (9 Nov).

We were proud to have played our part in creating the new museum and equally honoured to be presented to The Duke when he arrived for a tour of the impressive facility.

Royal visitGodden Allen Lawn drew up the plans for the extensive scheme, which included major structural alterations, waterproofing the lower ground floor, installing a lift and creating new toilet facilities.

The Duke was so taken with Folkestone Town Council’s £2m transformation of the building that his officials had to hurry him along so that he could get to his next engagement.

The council was awarded Heritage Lottery Funding to support the ambitious scheme, which has allowed Folkestone’s history to be displayed properly for the first time in more than 50 years.

We were pleased to be asked to work with the talented team involved in bringing Folkestone’s heritage back to the town and giving it a new home in a fine old building.

The Duke was welcomed to Folkestone by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount de L’Isle, before being presented civic dignitaries including High Sheriff of Kent George Jessel, Kent County Council Chairman David Brazier, Shepway Council Chairman Cllr David Owen and the Town Mayor of Folkestone, Cllr Roger West.

Town Clerk Jennifer Childs, Museum manager Jennifer Buchman and Heritage Support Officer Phil Hadland showed The Duke around the museum, which has been well received by visitors.

The renovation work included providing specialist storage facilities for museum exhibits and restoring the council chamber, which had been leased to the cinema, for shared use.

The Duke unveiled a plaque to mark his visit and officially open the museum before signing the visitors’ book and leaving for his next engagement.

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