Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope

Hidden from the high street and surrounded by car parks, Sevenoaks Library and Museum had poor visitor numbers. The museum had no new acquisitions in over a decade and was in danger of being deregistered. 

Arts and Heritage Consultant Timothy Mason’s report ‘Shaking the Kaleidoscope’ opted to turn the weak collection into a virtue, proposing a beacon library service, working cross domain and extending its work through creative partnerships 

Gutted, extended, radically remodelled and rebranded, Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope museum, library and gallery is a dynamic and inspirational venue which engages the community by providing: 

  • A regional art gallery and museum  capable of borrowing from national collections
  • Flexible event programming and a flexible learning space which expands the range of activities for school groups and workshops

  • A museum workshop open to the public for hands-on conservation
  •  Bespoke furniture and displays integrating books, artefacts and art
  • Specially commissioned site specific public artworks and installations

The first library nationally to receive Heritage Lottery Funding for innovative programming rather than the merit of the existing building or collection. 

A significant increase in footfall. The Kaleidoscope is a  hub for the local community, hosting a wide variety of exhibitions from local schools and artists. 

This sparked a renewed interest in history and conservation within the community, from whom the museum is now acquiring local artefacts.