Exciting plans submitted to improve Harlow Museum

Published date

Plans have been unveiled by Harlow Council for a new café and the future extension of education provision and exhibition space at Harlow Museum & Walled Gardens.

The plans have been submitted to the council’s planning team. Once the application has been validated, public consultation will take place ahead of a formal planning decision.

The plans are the first stage of a long-term plan for enhancing the museum service. The proposals include building a new classroom in part of the Walled Gardens and extending exhibition space in the courtyard along with a café and community space on the side of the former scouts building on First Avenue. Works will also take part to enhance the landscaping around the museum site.

The plans are designed to bring more schools into the museum, increase exhibition space for more displays and artefacts, enhance visitor experience and provide new pedestrian routes into the museum.


If the plans are approved, it will begin the journey for the first major refurbishment of the museum since it opened in March 2002 when two former museums – the Mark Hall Cycle Museum and Harlow Museum at Passmores House become one new museum for the town.

The council will need to secure external grant funding to help deliver the plans and the work on applying for funding will start in 2024 subject to planning permission.

Councillor Stacy Seales, cabinet portfolio holder for community, said:

“We have exciting plans for enhancing the museum service in the future. Our proposals will improve educational provision by providing a much-needed purpose-built classroom. The proposals will also enhance visitor experience and bring new income into the council to help support the services the council provides.

“This is all part of our priority to improve council services by providing more activities and events from our much-loved community services like the museum. Getting planning approval is the first step as part of a long-term plan over the next 2 to 3 years which includes securing external funding. Therefore, the improvements to the buildings are not going to happen overnight, but we have plans in place to enhance the service.  

“The museum does such a great job in telling the town’s story and we want to do what we can to enable staff and volunteers to tell that story to even more people including children and young people.”

Images courtesy of McBains.