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Cheltenham's Art Gallery and Museums win £750k

Cheltenham's Art Gallery and Museums win £750k

Cheltenham's art gallery and museums win £750k funding bid for redevelopment scheme - Galleries close to public on 1 April 2011.

A funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for £750k to redevelop Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum has been successful. This positive news means that the redevelopment scheme can now move forward to the next stage.

The exciting and ambitious plans for the new development will provide additional galleries, new open access stores/study facilities and dedicated spaces for lifelong learning, education, outreach services and arts development programmes. There will also be an expanded events/performance space, and a new larger ground floor cafe and shop.

The scheme will also provide a more prominent entrance to the art gallery and museum, and create a new footpath to Cheltenham's oldest building, medieval St. Mary's Church, from Clarence Street through to Chester Walk.

The art gallery and museum will close to the public on 1 April 2011, for the collections to be decanted into storage. Contractors are scheduled to be on site from the end of June 2011 and it is hoped that the new building will open in late 2012/early 2013.

Councillor Steve Jordan, leader of the council said: "This is fantastic news for Cheltenham and for the council, and we are thrilled to receive the full award of £750k from the HLF. I would like to thank everyone who has supported the bid and worked so hard to bring this about. While there is still more work to do, when the project has been completed, the new art gallery and museum will make a huge difference to local residents and visitors, and also to this part of our town."

Councillor Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for sport and culture continued: "This huge redevelopment scheme will create a 'first stop' for visitors to Cheltenham with the re-location of the Tourist Information Centre in the new building, and a focal point for the development of a 'cultural quarter' in the town. We are very pleased to get such a good outcome from the HLF."

Graham Lockwood, chair of Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum Development Trust, added: "This great success is a tribute to the professionalism of Jane Lillystone and her team and to the vision of the council. The award is also an endorsement of the ambition and quality of the scheme which deserves the fullest possible support from our community as we seek the funds to ensure completion of the final stages. I am sure the town will be proud of the finished development."

Nerys Watts, head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: "This project will transform Cheltenham Art Galley and Museum, revitalising the existing galleries and public spaces and offering new opportunities for visitors from near and far to enjoy the magnificent collections, whilst creating a new venue that can host national and international touring collections. Thanks to this HLF award, this vision has come a step closer."

A total of £5.4 million has now been raised out of the £6.3 million target and the outstanding amount of £919k has been underwritten by Cheltenham Borough Council. However, the trustees from the Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum Development Trust are still actively seeking to raise funds to cover the underwriting, through various applications to other charitable trusts and foundations and the launch of a public fundraising campaign from May 2011.

Explore Gloucestershire
22 March 2011

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