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Being Brunel - major new visitor experience

view from Hotwell Road of new visitor experience

The ss Great Britain Trust has been awarded support in principle and a development grant of £176,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) – the first step in the development of a major new £7m visitor experience ‘Being Brunel’, alongside the ss Great Britain in Bristol.

The total cost of the project is estimated at £7m and the ss Great Britain Trust has approached HLF for a grant of £4.7m.

The initial grant of £176,000 will enable the Trust to develop the project proposal and submit a round two application. If that application is successful the ‘Being Brunel’ national project can go ahead – aiming to open to the public in 2016.

'Being Brunel' will bring together the heritage of the life and works of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, making the amazing collections publicly accessible for the first time.

A major redevelopment of the derelict buildings, that overlook the floating harbour towards Hotwell Road, will allow visitors to discover original Brunel artefacts, many having never been on display before, explore the life and world of the ‘hero engineer’ and step back in time inside his original Drawing Office.

The visionary new development will form the hub of a new National Brunel Network of people, places, institutions and heritage resources around the UK.

Matthew Tanner MBE, Chief Executive, ss Great Britain Trust said:

“Visitors will be able to explore Brunel’s life and works and then compare their own skills to his, relating his achievements to the modern world. We feel there’s no better epicentre than Bristol for this to happen.

 “We aim to inspire the next generation of young scientists and engineers with everything we do at the ss Great Britain Trust. The ‘Being Brunel’ museum development and national network will do just this."

For more information, images or quotes please contact PR, Content and Social Media Manager Jess Hellens on 0117 926 0680 ext 309 or email jessh[at]