Extra £300,000 to be spent on wood panelling and feature lighting at new St Albans museum and gallery

PUBLISHED: 14:58 25 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:58 25 September 2017

Scaffolding around the Old Town Hall as it is transformed into a museum. Photo: DANNY LOO

Scaffolding around the Old Town Hall as it is transformed into a museum. Photo: DANNY LOO

Danny Loo Photography 2016

An extra £319,000 is being spent on creating the new St Albans museum and art gallery to attract tourism.

The ballroom at the old town hall. Picture: DANNY LOOThe ballroom at the old town hall. Picture: DANNY LOO

St Albans district council is currently transforming the town hall into a £7.75m museum and gallery.

The council’s commercial and development portfolio holder Cllr Julian Daly said: “This is a large-scale and highly ambitious project. At this stage in construction we have an opportunity to deliver additional enhancements within existing budgets.

“The money will go towards improvements to the original designs. We want the very best for St Albans and this will help us we get that.”

£50k is being spent on a “high-quality finish” to the Edwardian courtroom’s wood panelling, which will be illuminated by new feature lighting.

The new basement in St Albans museum which will be a lower gallery room. Picture: Danny LooThe new basement in St Albans museum which will be a lower gallery room. Picture: Danny Loo

Feature lighting, used to highlight particular parts of a room, is also being installed on the glazed walkways and the main staircase.

£80k is being spent on security measures, and another £50K is being spent on underfloor heating.

A further £35,000 is for secondary glazing in the assembly room.

£181k of the new money is coming from other council budgets, including £100K from the Abbey View athletics track redevelopment.

Part of the money is from the project’s budget, and part is from monies given to the council by developers and leisure services company 1Life.

The council hope to raise £1.7m from fundraising to pay for the project, which is envisioned 
as a major tourist attraction in the future.

Portfolio holder for culture, Cllr Annie Brewster, said: “Our mission is to create a truly fantastic museum and art gallery that will be a major visitor attraction, and will greatly improve the district’s cultural life.

“We are well on the way to doing that and these additional investments in the building will ensure the finish is of the highest quality.”

The spending was approved by the council cabinet, who were told the museum should open by mid-2018.

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

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