Today plans were unveiled for the Richard III Visitor Centre, which is due to open this summer following the unearthing of the infamous king’s body in a Leicester car park.
Designer Philip Songhurst offered a teaser of the exhibition, titled ‘Richard III: Dynasty, Death and Discovery’, and he showed how visitors will be taken on a journey through the king’s life, reign, and battlefield death 528 years ago, as well as the fascinating search for his remains that gripped the city and the world.
The centre will be an excellent cultural site for the local community, bringing profound economic benefits, as it is expected that visitors will travel from afar. Mr Songhurst expressed that “This is a story of worldwide importance, so to be involved with it is a complete and absolute honour”.
Mr Songhurst works for Image Makers, who have been commissioned by Leicester City Council to “make sure there is authenticity, with the correct historical details, as well as beautifully designed and effective displays that people would want to look at, and learn from”.
Work is currently underway to transform the Leicester Grammar School into the £4million venue, overlooking the king’s gravesite. These developments will be overseen by a Board of Trustees, who will take over from Leicester City Council later this year. The project’s visuals will be seen across the city in the coming months to promote the Richard III story.
The stunning preliminary images of the project depicted a ground floor level that will focus on the king’s history, highlighting his achievements and exploring the tragic loss of his wife and son. Plans were also revealed for the first floor, the section of the centre that will illustrate the ground-breaking science and technology behind the body’s rediscovery, featuring an imitation scanner and reproduction bones.
There will be multiple interactive displays, giving visitors the chance to get involved throughout the exhibition.
The Mayor of Leicester Peter Soulsby was present, and said that “Today is an opportunity for us to look at how the visitor centre is developing and to show off some of the work that is being done”.
He has been “blown away by the tremendously creative work that’s being done as part of the exhibition”, adding that “it will bring so many people and so much opportunity to the city”.
It is hoped that the visitor centre will attract interest from all over the world, as people clamour to see the site of the rediscovered king who will continue to be remembered in Leicester for years to come.