Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Sudbury: Acquisition will help make Gainsborough’s House into an ‘innovative national centre’

06:00 28 April 2014

Gainsborough

Gainsborough's House director Mark Bills

Archant

Trustees at the birthplace of Suffolk’s most famous artist, Thomas Gainsborough, are a step closer to achieving their aim of creating a “nationally significant gallery” after securing the much-needed space to expand.

shares
Gainsborough's House MuseumGainsborough's House Museum

The area next to Gainsborough’s House Museum in Sudbury – consisting of a car park, an old labour exchange and three garages – recently came on the market.

But given its prominent location on Weaver’s Lane, the plot – known as Gainsborough’s Chamber – attracted serious interest from other buyers, and museum trustees could not find the necessary funds to purchase it.

So Babergh District Council stepped in to buy the property and provide crucial extra time for the trustees to fundraise for the acquisition. Once Gainsborough’s House has secured enough cash, it will buy the building from Babergh.

In the meantime, it will rent the chamber and ancillary space, ensuring that the council’s full costs are covered.

The car park will be used to provide some much-needed disabled parking bays for visitors.

Mark Bills, director of Gainsborough’s House, said the acquisition and development of the additional land and buildings would help ensure the facility’s long term survival.

He said: “Gainsborough’s House is at a very exciting point in its history and has the possibility of embarking upon a major capital project to create a vibrant, innovative national centre that is sustainable and forward looking. It has a house and collections of international significance and the opportunity of being a great force for regeneration in Sudbury.”

Nigel Bennett, chairman of Sudbury Steering Group, said the proactive approach by Babergh had provided Gainsborough’s House with the security it needed to plan for the future and “ensure this major heritage asset remains a tourism driver for Sudbury”.

Meanwhile, local chamber of commerce chairman Chris Storey, added: “The chamber has been aware of the importance of Gainsborough’s House to Sudbury and its potential to add value to the town by drawing visitors to what will become an increasing attraction situated in the heart of the town.”

Gainsborough’s House now needs to start a major fundraising campaign to enable the project to go ahead.

shares
The 

Woodbridge Marina Tide Mill, the area in which Suffolk Secrets is based. Picture: Mike Page.

A suspicious fire at a holiday cottage lettings agency in Woodbridge on Friday night is being investigated.

Emergency services including an air ambulance were called to the scene in Mersea Road, Colchester, close to the Strood, at 3.40pm. Pic: Alisha O’Dell Howard.

A double decker bus has crashed into a ditch in north-east Essex.

James Fairweather has been found guilty of murdering Nahid Almanea and James Attfield

The Colchester teenager convicted of murdering James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester in 2014 must serve a minimum of 27 years in jail.

Stock image of the Fiveways Roundabout in Mildenhall.

An Audi TT and a lorry were involved in a crash in west Suffolk on Friday evening.

Stock image.

Firefighters tackled a restaurant blaze in Colchester on Friday.

Joe Stilgoe, headlining this year's Ipswich School Festival of Music. Photo: Prasanna Puwanarajah

Hailed Britain’s very own Harry Connick Jr, Joe Stilgoe makes a welcome return to the Ipswich School Festival of Music this year.

West

 Appleby Rose Garden Seat presentation 
in Bury, April  1984

In 1984, the BBC was running its third series of programmes on English towns and one of those featured was Suffolk’s historical gem: Bury St Edmunds.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24