Redevelopment plans were submitted to build more than 200 new homes, a hotel and offices at the Whitefriars site on Barrack Street, the former location of the Jarrold Printing business.
While the old printing factory had already been flattened to make way for the redevelopment, the Printing Museum is still located there in what was the engineers’ workshop, but will also be demolished when the plans go ahead.
Jarrold & Sons, which owns the land and is working with development partner Hill on the project, has now confirmed that the museum will be accommodated as part of the new development.
It said the new space will display and explain the historic printing equipment, “with some key machinery continuing to be operated and demonstrated by trained volunteers”.
The Norfolk Museums Service, specialists from the Science Museum and Norfolk Record Office are currently carrying out a detailed assessment of the museum’s pieces, with a view to keeping the most significant and historically important artefacts for the new premises.
A spokesperson told PrintWeek that The Norfolk Museums Service will then assist with the rehoming of surplus equipment and "any items unwanted after attempts to rehome will be disposed of correctly and sensitively utilising the Museums Association's own disposal toolkit, administered under their recognised code of practise”.
Jarrold finance director Christopher Doggett said: “The museum exhibits represent an important part of the Jarrold history, and through our continued funding of the displays we wanted to provide a sustainable future for the collection and tell the story of Jarrold’s printing heritage.”
He added the plans for the new building will ensure the site is accessible to all, while he hopes a planned café next door, longer opening hours and proper wheelchair access will increase the number of visitors to the museum.
The John Jarrold Printing Museum opened in 1982 and has moved before within the Jarrold facilities.
Staffed by volunteers and currently open on Wednesday mornings, it has an archive and extensive collection of equipment ranging from hand composing to phototypesetting, and from letterpress to litho and binding, much of it donated by other printing companies.
The collection includes what is thought to be the only surviving example of a Ratcliff direct lithographic press, dating from 1927 and donated by Curwen Studios in London.