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Being Brunel - a glimpse of things to come

Being Brunel Corporate Club

Local businesses have received an exclusive glimpse behind the doors of Being Brunel – the new national museum celebrating the life and legacy of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Arthur J Gallagher, Renishaw, Stannah, The Bristol Port Company, Wapping Wharf and Womble Bond Dickinson were treated to a preview as members of the Being Brunel Corporate Club, which was formed in 2015 to enable local companies to support the development of the new museum at Brunel’s SS Great Britain in Bristol.

Being Brunel will tell the hero engineer’s extraordinary story through never-before-seen personal possessions, as well as interactive exhibits and audio-visual experiences. The opening represents a major milestone for the city during the government’s UK-wide Year of Engineering 2018 campaign.

Chief executive of the SS Great Britain Trust, Matthew Tanner, explains: “By sharing the incredible legacy of Isambard Kingdom Brunel we hope to inspire the next generation of innovators and encourage more young people into science, technology, engineering and maths careers. For this reason, the opening of the new museum is a perfect fit for the Year of Engineering 2018 -  which also aims to increase understanding of engineering among young people.”

The new museum is expected to provide a huge boost to tourism in Bristol, which was recently named Museum Destination of the Year for 2018 in the Luxury Travel Guide Awards. Brunel’s SS Great Britain already brings around £9million of economic benefit into the city each year, and supports some 180 jobs.

The Being Brunel Corporate Club members met with the SS Great Britain Trust Chief Executive, Matthew Tanner, the Trust’s Head of Education, Rachel Roberts and Being Brunel Project Manager, Mike Day. They also had the opportunity to meet Nick Booth, Head of Collections, to view some of the latest acquisitions which will be on display in the new museum.

Being Brunel Project Manager, Mike Day, says: “With the new building and renovations complete, the focus for Being Brunel is now on internal installations and ensuring we can deliver a truly immersive visitor experience. We are grateful to the members of the Being Brunel Corporate Club who have made a valuable contribution to making this new national museum a reality.”

Chris Pockett is from global engineering technologies company, Renishaw, which was the founding member of the Being Brunel Corporate Club in 2015. He says: “We’ve just seen the Being Brunel museum for the first time and obviously it’s not finished yet – but in one word, fantastic! I can’t say too much about it as we’ve been sworn to secrecy, but I think people will be truly wowed by their experience – so we’re looking forward to the official opening in March.”



Photo caption:

(left to right) Mike Day, Being Brunel Project Manager – SS Great Britain Trust, Gary Fletcher, Managing Director South - Arthur J Gallagher, Lucy Tovey, Client Service Support - Arthur J Gallagher, John Chaplin, Director of External Affairs & Special Projects - The Bristol Port Company, Dan White, Branch Manager SW England & South Wales – Stannah, Matthew Tanner, Chief Executive – SS Great Britain Trust, Louis Arron, Development Manager - Wapping Wharf/Umberslade, Richard Guyatt, Partner - Womble Bond Dickinson, Chris Pockett, Head of Communications – Renishaw and Rachel Roberts, Head of Education – SS Great Britain Trust.


Notes to editors

More info on Being Brunel at

More info on Year of Engineering 2018

About Brunel’s SS Great Britain

Brunel’s SS Great Britain is Bristol’s number one visitor attraction, as voted by the public on Trip Advisor. It is home to the world’s first great ocean liner, the SS Great Britain, and the Brunel Institute, which houses one of the world’s finest maritime and Brunel collections. From 22 March 2018 this attraction will include Being Brunel, a new national museum telling the hero engineer’s extraordinary story through never-before-seen personal possessions, as well as interactive exhibits and audio-visual experiences. For more information visit

The Trust is very grateful to everyone who has donated to the Being Brunel project. In particular, we wish to acknowledge the significant support from the following charitable trusts, foundations, companies and individuals.

The National Lottery – Heritage Lottery Fund, Clive & Sylvia Richards Charity, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, The Wolfson Foundation, AIM Biffa Award, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Headley Trust, Edith Murphy Foundation, Ernest Cook Charitable Trust, George Cadbury Trust, The John Coates Charitable Trust, Sir John Fisher Foundation, the Swire Charitable Trusts and the Eranda Rothschild Foundation.

Being Brunel Corporate Club members: Renishaw, Womble Bond Dickinson, The Bristol Port Company, BAE Systems, Arthur J Gallagher Insurance Brokers Ltd, Hollandia UK Ltd, SMC Global Ltd, Stannah and Wapping Wharf.

Mr John Baker, Mr Ray RJ Daniels, Dr Tony Dickens, Mr Colin Green CBE & Mrs Louise Green, His Honour Stephen Powles QC, Mrs Geraldine Powles, Mr John Prior and Mrs Mary Prior CVO MBE, Mr Barry and Mrs Estelle Stevenson.

The attraction is called ‘Brunel’s SS Great Britain’, the ship is called the ‘SS Great Britain’ and the charity, which cares for her, is the ‘SS Great Britain Trust’.