Museum PR Announcements News and Information

Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum Building for a New Future

The exciting and ambitious plans for the new development will provide additional galleries, new open access stores / study facilities and dedicated spaces for life-long learning, education outreach services and arts development programmes.

It will also provide a more prominent entrance to the Art Gallery & Museum and create a ‘new gateway’ to Cheltenham’s oldest building, medieval St. Mary’s Church, through the inclusion of a pedestrian route from the south, Clarence Street through to Chester Walk.

The scheme will further create a ‘first stop’ for visitors to Cheltenham with the re-location of the Tourist Information Centre, and a focal point for the development of a ‘cultural quarter’ in the town, with an expanded events / performance space and a new larger ground floor café and shop.

HLF announced that Building for a New Future had successfully got through the first round application stage, achieving a first-round pass for a £750,000 grant for the art gallery & museum with a final decision expected to be towards the end of the year.

Jane Lillystone, Museum & Arts Manager, said: ‘We are extremely delighted to have secured this first round pass and their endorsement of a project which is so important for the region and spans our activities as both a museum and gallery. We will now actively be working to develop our project to a second-round application, which we hope to submit later this year.

This news also comes at an important time for the fundraising campaign, as we have now achieved £4 million in committed funding from Cheltenham Borough Council, the Summerfield Trust, The Monument Trust, Friends of Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, and most recently, Garfield Weston Foundation, with the outcome of several significant applications expected over the coming few months. Our target is to reach £5.5 million by the end of this year for construction of the new building to start for early 2011.”

Andrew McKinlay, Cabinet member for Sport and Culture, Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “I am delighted by the news. The support of the Heritage Lottery Fund is a major step in progressing the re-development of the Art Gallery & Museum into a world class modern venue that Cheltenham can be proud of.”

Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum
CAG&M was established between 1898 (gallery) and 1907 (museum) and is an important public facility for the town, county and region. Its wide-ranging collections include:

– A nationally Designated Arts and Crafts Movement collection and the Emery Walker library, which includes drawings and designs by many important craft and industrial-scale makers, from Gimson to Gordon Russell and Robert Welsh. It also includes the internationally-important Emery Walker Library, which includes designs for many typefaces.

– Local history collections: material relating to Cheltenham’s role as a spa and industrial town, including its unique role in the history (and present) of the aircraft industry;

– Fine art: important 17th-19th C Dutch/Belgian works; works from Renaissance to 21st C, many with local connections

– Cheltenham and the wider world: includes items relating to Antarctic explorer Edward Wilson (Cheltenham born and educated), ethnographical and other items brought back by travellers;

Based in central Cheltenham, CAG&M occupies the first floor of a Victorian building (its original home; Cheltenham Library occupies the ground floor) and a small 1989 extension. Open 7 days a week, all year-round, with monthly “late Thursdays”, CAG&M receives over 65,000 visits annually and works with a further 6,000 people outside the building. Admission is free and visitors/users of all ages come from Cheltenham, the Cotswolds, surrounding regions, London, the rest of the UK and overseas. CAG&M works with a wide range of artists and organisations, including galleries, museums and heritage organisations ranging from national organisations to the recently-established Gordon Russell and Court Barn museums in the Cotswolds.

Art Gallery & Museum, Clarence Street, Cheltenham, GL50 3JT
Tel: (+44) 01242 237431 Fax: (+44) 01242 262334

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