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Major cultural attraction to celebrate 400 years since the sailing of the Mayflower to America


  • The recently branded Box is at the heart of major re-generation plans for the city
  • Set to be the venue for large national and international exhibitions
  • Flagship Project for Mayflower 400, 400th Anniversary of Pilgrims setting sail
  • Latest Grade 2 listed project by Willmott Dixon

Willmott Dixon’s track record for restoring Grade 2 listed property and creating heritage attractions has been further underlined by its role delivering a major landmark celebrating Plymouth's role shaping world history.

Our team are transforming the City Museum and Art Gallery, Central Library and St Luke's Church buildings into a cutting-edge, interactive centre called The Box that will attract thousands of visitors a year.

The Box is part of Plymouth’s 400th anniversary commemorations for the Mayflower ship sailing (above) from Plymouth to America and will provide a new home for the city's fascinating and vast historic collections.

The result will be a brilliant addition to the region (below).

History Centre CGI

Major attraction for tourists

The Box will include exhibition and gallery spaces, including five permanent galleries, five exhibition spaces for local and national touring exhibitions and six spaces for specific artistic projects. It will incorporate the existing museum and art gallery and central library buildings along with a contemporary extension at the back on Tavistock Place.

Galleries will celebrate and explore subjects such as Plymothians who have been influential on the world stage, the city's relationship with the Royal Navy, life in Plymouth below the waterline, Plymouth's prehistoric landscape and the West Country's artistic legacy, including Sir Joshua Reynolds, the Cottonian Collection and the Newlyn School of Artists.

UK leader for heritage projects

This is our latest example of creating a world renowned museum or cultural icon.

Others include:

Our specialists also renewed a former Grade 2 listed building into a new home for the Gwent Records Office.

It’s also continues our growth in the South West, following the opening of the Exeter office and building a home for the Met Office’s new supercomputer.

What people said about our appointment

Councillor Ian Bowyer, Leader of Plymouth City Council:

“We’re really pleased to have Willmott Dixon on board. As well as in-depth knowledge of the sector they demonstrated how they would inspire Plymothians to build for Plymouth and invest in the communities that support culture. This makes their appointment a great fit.”

Councillor Glenn Jordan, Cabinet Member for Culture said:

“Willmott Dixon has a wealth of experience in helping to create buildings that are both functional and iconic. We were particularly impressed with their recent regeneration of a former Grade 2 listed building into a new home for the Gwent Records Office. This was a project that breathed new life into a property of more than 100 years old – so much like our ambitions.”
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