£50,000 grant for new Museum and Art Gallery

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News release: 06 October 2017

Arts Council England has awarded a £50,000 grant to help fund the new Museum and Art Gallery project in St Albans.

New Museum at night
It is the latest major organisation to support the £7.75m scheme to convert the Town Hall in St Peter’s Street into a nationally-renowned cultural centre.

The Arts Council donation will go towards renovating the Assembly Room to create a large, dramatic space suitable for staging a wide range of events.

These will include art exhibitions, theatre, music, dance and events that form part of the City’s film, literary and other cultural festivals.

The Assembly Room is on the first floor and is the biggest space in the Grade II* Listed building that was constructed in 1831.

It was designed to be a grand ballroom with high ceilings, decorative cornices and a balcony overlooking the street.

The new museum, which is intended to become a major visitor attraction and transform the City Centre, is due to open next year.

St Albans City and District Council has led the project and has a fundraising target of £1.7 million with £400,000 still to be gained.

Among the groups to contribute are the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Wolfson Foundation, the John Apthorp Charity, the Garfield Weston Foundation and Boultbee LDN, owners of the Maltings shopping precinct.

Councillor Annie Brewster, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Sport and Leisure, said: “I am thrilled that Arts Council England is supporting our inspiring project and has provided this grant. 

“The Arts Council has been a wonderful supporter of our Museum Service for many years and they are fully behind St Albans creating something very special in the heart of our historic City.  We want to make the double height Assembly Room a spectacular feature of the project.

“It means we have now raised £1.3 million and are in sight of achieving our ambitious target of £1.7 million. I urge anyone who wants to donate to this great project to get in touch; there are many exciting opportunities for individuals and organisations to get involved.” 

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to support St Albans Museum and Art Gallery with National Lottery funding as it creates a space dedicated to arts activity. It is really important that more people have access to wide variety of great arts and culture and this project is a great way to achieve that.” 

Details of sponsorship opportunities are available from the St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust: bit.ly/2hklF4M

Arts Council England is a Government-funded body that champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. More details can be found here: www.artscouncil.org.uk.

Councillor contact: 
Councillor Annie Brewster, Portfolio Holder for Sport and Heritage, St Albans City and District Council. Email: cllr.a.brewster@stalbans.gov.uk; Tel: 01438 832255 
Contact for the media: 
John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City & District Council, Tel: 01727 296130, E-mail: john.mcjannet@stalbans.gov.uk.