Flooding causes significant damage to the Museum of Making in Derby


Derby Museums is sad to report that the recent severe weather conditions have exposed the Museum of Making to substantial flood damage. Whilst the building was designed to withstand an element of flooding, including movable displays on the ground floor and the installation of electrics above the ground, and staff had worked tirelessly to move as much as possible off the ground floor, water levels were higher than predicted and the damage is significant. As a result, the interruption to the museum’s day-to-day activity is expected to be substantial.

An initial visual survey of the building by the Derby Museums team shows the ingress of approximately 50-70cm of flood water in the building. Despite the team’s best efforts, there appears to be significant damage to equipment in the kitchen and workshop, and damage to all interior ground floor doors. Fortunately, the collections appear to be undamaged – this is largely due to the design of the building, which sees the majority of collections housed on upper floors with the Italian Mill space containing moveable displays which allows them to be relocated as needed.

The Museum of Making will be closed to the public whilst insurers are consulted, and the damage is further assessed. The building will also need to be checked for contamination due to the entry of flood water. Safety checks will need to be conducted on ground floor doors to ensure a safe fire evacuation strategy remains in place. Professional cleaners will be brought in to remove any contamination caused by the water. As a result, the Museum of Making will be closed until remedial measures can be instigated to repair the damage. As soon as the building has been made safe and insurers have assessed the damage, the museum should be able to reopen its doors.

A fundraising campaign was launched on Saturday 21st October, with significant support received as a result of this appeal. Derby Museums is now in conversation with insurers and are hopeful that they will cover the majority of the remaining losses. Donations can still be made and will be used to either support any unmet recovery costs, or to keep Derby Museums open for all.

Tony Butler, Executive Director of Derby Museums, said:

“We were all devastated to wake up to the floods on Saturday morning. Our team worked hard to secure the Museum of Making and protect our collections which I am pleased to say are safe and undamaged. We are sorry to be closed to the public in the coming days. I’d like to thank our fantastic supporters, both individuals and the local business community; as always, we have been overwhelmed by your love and appreciation for Derby Museums.”

For further updates, please check Derby Museums’ website: derbymuseums.org and social media channels (@derbymuseums).

From the Derby Museums team, thank you for your support.