Search

Gainsborough’s House project in Sudbury receives boost from Babergh District Council

PUBLISHED: 16:46 12 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:46 12 February 2018

Gainsborough's House. Picture: EMMA BRENNAN

Gainsborough's House. Picture: EMMA BRENNAN

Archant

A multi-million pound project to transform a Sudbury museum has received a huge boost after the district council gifted a site to support the scheme.

Thomas Gainsborough's house plans - inside gallery CGI by ZMMAThomas Gainsborough's house plans - inside gallery CGI by ZMMA

Gainsborough’s House – the birthplace and childhood home of Thomas Gainsborough – has already secured just over £8million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and private donors for the £8.7m renovation and construction of a national centre for the artist.

Now Babergh District Council has decided to gift the £235,000 site next to the museum, known as Gainsborough’s Chambers, to the Gainsborough’s House Society to back the ambitious project.

Babergh originally stepped in to buy the Weavers Lane plot, which consists of a car park, an old labour exchange and three garages, in 2014 after museum trustees could not find the necessary funds to purchase it.

Mark Bills, Gainsborough’s House director, said the gift from the council takes the project one step closer to becoming a reality.

An artist's impression of how the Landscape Studio in the new Gainsborough's House extension will look.An artist's impression of how the Landscape Studio in the new Gainsborough's House extension will look.

He said: “We’re absolutely thrilled. What is shows is how much the project is backed in the town and the community.

“It really means a lot to us and also shows that the council supports our vision to make a real difference in the town.

“It’s terrific news and means we are closer to securing the project. We’re very grateful to the council, especially after they stepped in to buy it. So to now gift it to us is absolutely fantastic.”

At the end of January, it was announced that £700,000 was still needed for the project to go ahead.

Left to right: Angus Goodwin ZMMA, Mark Bills MD of Gainsborough's House and Adam Zombory Moldovan of ZMMA. Picture: ANNE PURKISSLeft to right: Angus Goodwin ZMMA, Mark Bills MD of Gainsborough's House and Adam Zombory Moldovan of ZMMA. Picture: ANNE PURKISS

The gift from the council leaves the museum with around £465,000 to find and Mr Bills added that a final decision for the project will be made in July.

It is hoped work will start in the autumn.

John Ward, leader of Babergh District Council and chairman of Babergh’s cabinet, said: “We’ve always been very keen to support Gainsborough’s House and the fantastic work it does. That’s why we bought this property in 2014, to support the museum.

“Since then we’ve leased it to the Gainsborough’s House Society, but the time has now come for them to take over completely and I’m delighted that we’re able to gift the property to them.

“Their ‘Reviving an Artist’s Birthplace’ project could have a huge impact on Sudbury, both cultural and economic, and we at Babergh are proud to be a part of that.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sudbury Mercury visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sudbury Mercury staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sudbury Mercury account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other popular content

14 minutes ago

Visitors to Stonham Barns were transported more than 1,000 years back in time as the site was transformed into a battleground fit for the Dark Ages.

Devastated colleagues of an ever smiling, popular young pub worker tragically killed in a road crash have paid a moving tribute to her, saying life “won’t be the same without her”.

19:00

When you’re hunting for a new home, what can you buy for around £300,000? How about part of a unique pub conversion in Ipswich or a bungalow in Brandon?

Bury St Edmunds has secured a gold medal in a national floral competition during the “toughest year on record”.

Show Job Lists

Local weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 6°C

Newsletter Sign Up

Sudbury Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24