National Lottery funded many good causes over the years, and renovation of Thomas Gainsborough’s House is the most ambitious one in the recent memory. This renowned artist will be celebrated with a revamped museum dedicated to his work thanks to a £4.500.000 lottery grant.
Gainsborough was often described as one of the greatest artists of the late 18th-century, thanks to his collection of portraits of notable people. An existing museum devoted to his work is located in the artist’s former home in Sudbury, which is going to be renovated thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Labour exchange building next to the museum is set to be demolished and replaced with a three-storey gallery showcasing permanent collections of artist’s work. Director of Gainsborough’s House, Mark Bills, described this as “tremendous news” not only for the museum, but for the county of Suffolk as a whole.
“The announcement is such a boost for the arts nationally, for a market town, a county and for helping to open the doors to this wonderful place for everyone. We will be able to reach more people and be a regional hub for heritage and culture, offering nationally important exhibitions as well as serving the local community,” said Bills.
90 jobs will be created during development of this project, including several permanent positions. Once the museum is finished, it should lead to an increase in visitors to the town of Sudbury and contribution of around £5.400.000 to the local economy.
“Once completed, the National Centre for Gainsborough will be a landmark tourist attraction, bringing a significant amount of income into Sudbury and beyond,” concluded Ros Kerslake, chief executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund.