Engage Search Close Search

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 its sustainable estate strategy and long-term development programme for each of its museums:

  • Ulster Folk Museum: A project to secure and deliver transformative investment reawakening the museum’s significance as a remarkable heritage and environment resource and creating more ways for people to get involved.
  • Ulster Museum: A project to secure and deliver enabling investment at the Ulster Museum, strengthening its ability to connect with audiences through an enhanced welcome, more opportunities for participation and greater dynamism and flexibility in our displays and interpretation.
  • Ulster American Folk Park: A project to strengthen Ulster American Folk Park’s reputation as a dynamic heritage attraction and tourism hub, allowing visitors to experience the past in educational, inspirational and sometimes challenging ways.
  • Ulster Transport Museum: A project to make key interventions to begin unlocking the museum’s potential as a STEM learning resource from the next generation, making full use of the site’s assets and connections.

Project Status

The redevelopment of the Ulster Folk Museum is the most advanced project. In the summer 2022, It secured a development grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund which significantly contributed towards its progress. An integrated Design Team led by Hoskins Architects developed the project’s concept and design solutions and an Outline Business Case was submitted in December 2022 to seek DfC’s formal approval for the project and its funding. Following further project development, a full planning application was submitted to Ards & North Down Borough Council in June 2023.

Details of the proposals can be viewed on the project website, reawakening-folkmuseum.com.

SIB Involvement

SIB is providing support with all aspects of the master planning, business case development, procurement, partnering and delivery of this transformational investment programme across the entire estate.


NMNI Programme