IAIN GORDON, DIRECTOR OF THE KING RICHARD III VISITOR CENTRE, TELLS PUKAAR HOW LOCAL PEOPLE WILL BENEFIT FROM HAVING A WORLD-CLASS EXHIBITION ON THEIR DOORSTEP.
When I heard the incredible news back in February 2013 that the human remains found under a car park in Leicester were indeed those of King Richard lll, I never imagined I would be part of the team that would tell the story of the discovery to visitors from all over the world.
More than 15 months on I am now very proud to be the director of the King Richard lll Visitor Centre which will open later this summer.
Over the past year, a huge amount of work has gone into transforming the former Alderman Newton’s Grammar school – located right next to the King’s original gravesite – into what will be a world-class heritage attraction. The building will house a remarkable exhibition – ‘Dynasty, Death and Discovery’ – that will tell the story of Richard’s life and reign, his brutal death, and the discovery of his remains more than 500 years later.
We expect that people from across the globe will come to visit but an important part of my job is to make sure local people feel that this is their centre, and that they have a role to play in telling this exciting story.
One way we will do this is through recruiting a team of local volunteers to help us bring the exhibition to life.
Leicester’s museums have an army of wonderful people who contribute to all aspects of the service and we would love to have the same support and local knowledge.
We are already in the process of selecting our team of 15 permanent staff, as well as a bank of supply staff for particularly busy times. We are also looking for a company – ideally based in Leicester – to run our café, and to provide locally-sourced products for sale there.
A big priority for us is to work with local schools, colleges and universities to develop resources to support the new curriculum for history, which includes significant historical events, people and places in their own area.
Our aim is that the King Richard lll Visitor Centre will be a huge asset to the community, as we already know that local people will be a huge asset to the centre.
We look forward to welcoming you all in the very near future.
The King Richard III Visitor Centre opens on 26th July. Follow news about the centre at twitter.com/KRIIICentre