Future Plans for Johnson's Birthplace

Behind the scenes at the Birthplace we have been working on plans for the future of the Museum. Our Development Project will see improved access to our Grade I listed building, as well as new exhibitions and visitor facilities.

Our goals for our project are to care for the long-term future of the Museum by increasing our sustainability, welcoming more of our community to the Birthplace and increasing our appeal to local visitors, improve access to and care of our collections, and care for the long-term future of the Museum.

Here are some of the ways that we are planning to do this:

  • Create wheelchair access to the ground floor, virtual access to upper floors and an accessible toilet.
  • Replace Museum displays to enable better care of our collections and allow more of our collection to be seen, including local history and diverse stories (e.g. women’s history, Johnson’s health, and his Jamaican heir Francis Barber)
  • Develop the Kitchen and Bookbinding workshop displays into interactive spaces
  • Create an education programme for secondary age students, review our existing primary visit, and improve our library study area.
  • Improve our event, education and hire space to ensure that we will be more resilient.
  • Develop our programme of events in consultation with local audiences.
  • Train staff and volunteers on welcoming disabled and neurodivergent audiences.
  • Diversify our team and involve our community by creating new, flexible volunteering opportunities.
  • Improve our external appearance contributing positively to the local street scene.


Work in 2023-2024

We will be redisplaying the Johnson family workshop in 2023. Working with Leicestershire-based exhibition designers Vertigo Creative, a new look for the room will transport visitors back to the 18th century with a recreation of a bookbinding business including hands-on and sensory elements

In December 2021 planning permission was granted to build a visitor toilet facility in our courtyard, which will also be installed in 2023.


Future Phases

Subject to planning permission and funding, we hope to establish wheelchair access to the ground floor of the Museum. Working with award-winning architects Brownhill Hayward Brown, we are exploring achieving wheelchair access to the ground floor by replacing the steps installed in 1995 at the Market Street side of the house with new steps that incorporate a disappearing platform lift

The rest of the ground floor will be re-displayed alongside this work, with the introductory film presentation relocated to the Parlour.

It is hoped that the rest of the Museum displays will be able to follow in future years.

Get involved!


Johnson’s Birthplace was a gift to the people of Lichfield and bringing more of our community into our building is at the heart of our plans. We have been guided by hundreds of visitor comments, surveys and reviews and are always keen to hear from anyone who would like to share an opinion on our plans.

You can join our community voices email group for updates on our project and invitations to provide feedback on our plans. Please email us at sjmuseum@lichfield.gov.uk to be included.