£700,000 still needed for £8.7million Gainsborough’s House transformation project in Sudbury
- Credit: Archant
A fundraising target of £700,000 needs to be reached by March if an £8.7million transformation of a Sudbury museum is to go ahead.
Gainsborough’s House – the birthplace and childhood home of Thomas Gainsborough – has already secured just over £8m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and private donors for the renovation and construction of a national centre for the artist.
But the museum still needs to cover the shortfall for the project, which will feature 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.
Mark Bills, director at Gainsborough’s House, said it was “remarkable” that £8m had already been raised but the clock was ticking towards the March deadline.
Celebrities and artists, including Griff Rhys Jones, American Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Lloyd Grossman, have rallied behind fundraising for the project with host of events.
In November, the museum was also awarded a grant from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation to fund a building apprentice as part of the multi-million pound refurbishment.
Mr Bills said: “In 1958, Gainsborough’s House Society acquired the birthplace and childhood home of Thomas Gainsborough, through a successful campaign to secure it for the nation.
“Now, 60 years later, in our diamond anniversary year, we are at another major point in our charity’s history with the opportunity growing ever closer to transform Gainsborough’s House into the National Centre for Thomas Gainsborough.
“This £8.7 million project, which will include an endowment to help secure its future running costs, was given a major kick-start when the Heritage Lottery Fund earmarked £5.2 million towards the project.
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“It is remarkable that, with thanks to the support of so many people, we have gained donations and pledges worth just over £8m.
“This leaves us with the target of £700,000 to ensure that Sudbury, Suffolk and the country as a whole gets the centre that it needs.
“With the clock ticking towards our deadline, and with so much at stake, we continue to fundraise for the project that will be transformational for Sudbury and for the artistic heritage of East Anglia.”