WATCH: One minute stop-motion video shows three week demolition of town's old labour exchange
PUBLISHED: 07:30 30 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:09 30 March 2019
Demolition marks first stage of a project to build an £8m art gallery in Sudbury.
The initial phase in the creation of the “landmark” extension to Gainsborough’s House museum in Sudbury involved the demolition of the town’s old labour exchange building and some garages on Weavers Lane, to clear the site ready for construction.
The demolition work, which was carried out by Norfolk firm Anglian Demolition, took three weeks to complete - but people can now see the entire deconstruction in a one minute stop-motion video that has been posted on the Gainsborough’s House website and is embedded below.
The museum’s director Mark Bills described the completion of the first phase as “exciting”.
He added: “I like the fact that we are building on a brownfield site, and now that the site is cleared, it shows its potential - it feels real. We wanted to start this stage early just in case any issue with the footings was discovered or if more time with the archeologists was needed.
“The archeologists did find some medieval and post-medieval fragments but nothing of real importance.”
Mr Bills said a shortlist of contractors to build the art gallery is now being drawn up with a view to starting construction work in September. If all goes to plan the gallery extension is due to open to the public in the spring or summer of 2021.
According to the Gainsborough House website, when complete the new art gallery will be a “landmark three-storey structure” which will “provide spaces for exhibitions, displays and learning with four new galleries –a showcase Gainsborough gallery, a landscape studio with panoramic views over Sudbury, a community gallery and a temporary exhibition gallery/performance space.”
The intention is that the new building will also house the widest collection of art works by Thomas Gainsborough, the renowned 18th century artist and Sudbury’s most famous son.
The whole project is costing over £8m - a total raised through contributions from private donors and a £4.5m Heritage Lottery Fund grant.