Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum's development scheme, ‘Building for a New Future’ was given a major boost last week, as The Monument Trust (The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts) confirmed an offer of £500,000 towards the fundraising campaign.
The grant brings the total raised so far to £3.8-million, adding to support already received from the Gloucestershire-based Summerfield Charitable Trust of £750,000, and an allocation of £2.5-million from Cheltenham Borough Council – including £50,000 from the Friends of Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum's ongoing fundraising appeal.
The art gallery and museum, now over a century old, attracts over 60,000 visits per year to exhibitions and displays of collections, which include a nationally designated arts and crafts movement collection. At present, however, the art gallery and museum can only display about a third of its collections and lacks space for major exhibitions and the growing demands of its innovative education, outreach and arts development work.
The design for the new development, by architects Berman Guedes Stretton, will provide new exhibition galleries (x 4 floors), new open access storage / study areas and dedicated spaces for education and outreach services – including improved visitor facilities and a ground-floor café.
Jane Lillystone, museum and arts manager says: “This is a significant grant from The Monument Trust and is excellent news for us as we move forward to the launch of the second phase of our fundraising campaign in September. With building costs fees estimated at £5.5-million this means we have now raised 70 per cent of the funds needed to start construction, the remainder of which we hope to secure by spring / summer 2010.”
Councillor Andrew McKinlay, Cheltenham Borough Council’s Cabinet member for sport and culture, continues: “This grant is a great boost to the museum’s redevelopment project. It shows the importance that The Monument Trust attach to the upgrading of the museum, and is another step towards fully funding the scheme.”
A set of revised designs for the new development are currently going through the planning process and are on display at the Art Gallery & Museum and at www.cheltenham.gov.uk (Planning Section, reference numbers 09/00785/FUL; 09/00786/LBC).
24 July 2009