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Museum to open doors for free to thank National Lottery players

PUBLISHED: 09:56 30 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:36 30 November 2018

Gainsborough's House will open its doors for free to National Lottery players for a week Picture: GAINSBOROUGH'S HOUSE

Gainsborough's House will open its doors for free to National Lottery players for a week Picture: GAINSBOROUGH'S HOUSE

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A Sudbury museum dedicated to a world famous artist will throw open its doors for free for a limited time to thank National Lottery players following a grant award of £4.7m.

Mark Bills, director of Gainsborough's House Picture: ANDY HOWESMark Bills, director of Gainsborough's House Picture: ANDY HOWES

Gainsborough’s House – the birthplace and childhood home of Thomas Gainsborough – received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the renovation and construction of a national centre for the artist.

The museum will be opening its doors for free from Monday, December 3, to Friday, December 7, and all visitors who present a National Lottery ticket or scratchcard will also get to see the current exhibition – Early Gainsborough: From the obscurity of a Country Town.

National Lottery players will also have the opportunity of a free daily guided tour of the museum.

MORE: £7.5m scheme to turn Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury into ‘major  national cultural destination’

An artist's impression of how the Landscape Studio in the new Gainsborough's House extension will look. The image was one that helped to get architects ZMMA the contract to design the £8.5million project.An artist's impression of how the Landscape Studio in the new Gainsborough's House extension will look. The image was one that helped to get architects ZMMA the contract to design the £8.5million project.

Gainsborough’s House has been awarded £4.7m from the HLF towards the £7.5m project which will transform the house, as well as an additional £500,000 towards creating a £1m endowment.

The ambitious project includes four new galleries – a Gainsborough gallery, a landscape studio and learning zone with panoramic views over Sudbury, a community gallery and a major exhibition gallery.

Celebrities and artists, including Griff Rhys Jones, American Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Lloyd Grossman, have also rallied behind fundraising for the plans, with further contributions coming from private donors.

MORE: Artist Thomas Gainsborough owed his career to double murder in family

Thomas Gainsborough's house plans - inside gallery Picture: ZMMAThomas Gainsborough's house plans - inside gallery Picture: ZMMA

Mark Bills, director of Gainsborough’s House, urged National Lottery players who had not visited the museum before to take a look at the new plans.

He said: “Thanks to National Lottery players we have been given the opportunity to create a National Centre for Thomas Gainsborough, which will bring his life and art to many more people.

“For those National Lottery players who have not previously visited Gainsborough’s House, now is the perfect opportunity to see what their ticket money is funding.”

Ros Kerslake, chief executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “December is a wonderful time to experience the UK’s rich, diverse and exciting heritage, which has been transformed by more than £7.8billion National Lottery funding since 1994.

“This is a small gesture of thanks and a way of giving something back to the people who buy tickets.”

For more information, visit www.gainsborough.org

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