MORE than 150,000 historical artefacts are being catalogued at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery in preparation for a big move.

The museum and gallery is moving from Rowley’s House in Barker Street to the old Music Hall in The Square.

Over 50 local volunteers are supporting museum staff to do this so everything will be ready to transport by the end of next year for a grand opening at the Music Hall in 2013.

A major restoration project is taking place to conserve the extraordinary cluster of buildings hidden behind the classical Music Hall facade.

Behind the scenes conservators, model makers, researchers, illustrators, designers and artists are working to create a unique cultural centre in the heart of Shrewsbury.

Andrew Bannerman, Shropshire Councillor for Quarry and Coton Hill, said: “We are all eagerly awaiting the unveiling of the restored and redesigned Music Hall.

“The Square is the heart of Shrewsbury and the Music Hall will reclaim its rightful place there and prove a great attraction. This should be a big boost to the town centre.”

A website will be launched in the next few weeks following all aspects of the new museum’s progress and will tell people how they can get involved.

A range of mugs, t-shirts, notebooks and bookmarks, with museum-inspired illustrations by Shrewsbury artist Linda Edwards, will be in the shop at Rowley’s House to help support the museum’s work.

Tim Jenkins, museum manager, said: “The new museum will be a focal point for both local people and visitors to the town.

“We are just beginning to see the fruits of our hard work and Linda’s contribution has been a boost for us to see how inspirational our cultural heritage can be.

“The sales of products through the shop really do help us to carry on the work we do and we are pleased with the distinctiveness of developments so far.”

Rowley’s House Museum and Information Centre in Barker Street, Shrewsbury is open every day from 10am to 5pm.