Opening exhibitions for St Albans new museum announced

Building work is almost finished on the new St Albans museum. Picture: SADC

Building work is almost finished on the new St Albans museum. Picture: SADC - Credit: Archant

Inaugural exhibitions for the grand opening of St Albans’ new museum have been unveiled.

After building work on the £7.75 million museum is finished this spring, there will be two permanent exhibitions launched.

There will be a timeline detailing the history of St Albans called The City That Went Up The Hill and a display of important objects suggested by local people called St Albans on Demand.

Other temporary exhibitions include artwork curated by the Hayward Gallery and a showcase of cultural treasures from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

A series of smaller exhibitions will include a history of squatting and information about St Albans’ 600-year-old market.

The plans were recently presented to the district council’s community, environment and sport scrutiny committee.

Committee chair Cllr Anthony Rowlands said: “The new museum and art gallery is one of the biggest projects the council has ever undertaken and we must get it right.

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“It is intended that it will become a major visitor attraction with 200,000 visitors a year making it financially viable and boosting the local economy

“To achieve those ambitious goals, it is clear that the facilities, exhibitions and activity programmes have to be imaginative and of the highest quality.

“The committee was impressed by the plans for the exciting opening months. However, this is a long-term commitment and we will be monitoring progress to ensure that the museum remains on track to deliver something very special to St Albans.”

The three-floor museum’s main source of income will be private hiring for weddings, civic functions, corporate networking events and entertainment shows.

A series of debates and a children’s education programme has been planned, along with a shop in conjunction with the British Museum.

In October last year the project was given a £50K boost by Arts Council England, in order to renovate the assembly room - the largest space in the Grade II listed building.

It has also received donations from Heritage Lottery Fund; the Wolfson Foundation; the John Apthorp Charity; the Garfield Weston Foundation; and Boultbee LDN, who own The Maltings.