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Capital Investment Programme for National Museums NI

Defining a sustainable estate strategy and long-term development programme for National Museums, Northern Ireland

Project Description

National Museums NI comprises four museums at three locations: Ulster Folk Museum and Ulster Transport Museum in Cultra, Ulster Museum in Belfast and Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh. Established in 1998, the organisation’s role is to develop, manage and care for an extensive range of collections to benefit current and future generations.

Supported by SIB, National Museums NI has undertaken significant steps to define a sustainable estate strategy and long-term development programme for its museums:

  • A transformational project for the Ulster Folk Museum that will reimagine the museum and turn it into a place where people can forge creative connections with their contemporary lives. The capital investment will create an active centre of heritage excellence for the people and communities of Ulster as well as a ‘must see’ destination for all visitors.
  • Redevelopment plans at the Ulster American Folk Park are also being shaped. Detailed work has been completed on the museum’s Strategic Direction and Development Framework.
  • An ongoing interpretive master planning review and assessment of the visitor experience at the Ulster Museum will conclude with comprehensive development recommendations.
  • At the Ulster Transport Museum work is progressing on some immediate projects identified by recent visioning and master planning studies – repurposing of the Dalcoolan Walled Garden for wider community use and a pilot Museum of Innovation in the Dalcoolan Gallery.

Project Status

The redevelopment of the Ulster Folk Museum is the most advanced project. In February 2020, National Museums NI was successfully shortlisted (out of 146 candidates) as one of 12 projects to submit an application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund Heritage Horizon Awards.  It is the only project from Northern Ireland to have been successful at this stage and it is expected that up to 6 projects will secure a significant capital grant. A Strategic Outline Case has been submitted to seek DfC’s formal support for the project.

SIB Involvement

SIB is providing the Programme Director who leads on all aspects of the master planning, business case development, procurement, partnering and delivery of this transformational investment programme across the entire estate.


For further information contact:

Tzvetelina Bogoina​, Capital Programme Director (SIB)

E: Tzvetelina.Bogoina@nmni.com

NMNI Folk Park