The Rt Hon Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has authorised St Albans City and District Council to grant planning permission and listed building consent for conversion of the former Town Hall and Courtroom into the new St Albans City Museum and Art Gallery. Construction is scheduled to commence in spring 2016, with the new museum and gallery opening in autumn 2017.
John McAslan + Partners' refurbishment and adaptive reuse of this nationally important historic building includes restoration of the Town Hall's impressive first-floor Assembly Room as a gallery to showcase the rich history of St Albans City. New glazed 'wings" at the first-floor level will allow visitors to circulate around the building and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding townscape and cathedral. A new environmentally-controlled gallery at the lower ground-floor level will house touring exhibitions and contemporary art shows. Alongside the new gallery spaces, the historic courtroom will be refurbished as a creative educational resource and cafe's extra seating area, with visitors able to explore its Victorian cells in the basement below. On the ground floor, visitor information centre, cafe, further exhibition and educational spaces will help transform the building into a major cultural destination for the City.
Councilor Annie Brewster, Portfolio Holder for Sport, Leisure and Heritage for St Albans City and District Council, said: "We are honoured that the Heritage Lottery Fund is giving this flagship City project its prestigious backing. In 1831 St Albans Town Hall and Courthouse was built for public use. We aim to turn it into a fitting cultural beacon right in the heart of our City for all to access freely. John McAslan + Partners' stunning design has ensured we are now well on our way to creating a spectacular new landmark museum and art gallery with three floors of galleries and exhibition space for residents and visitors to enjoy."
Hannah Lawson, Director at John McAslan + Partners, said: "We are delighted that our transformative scheme for this important historic building is going ahead. The new museum and gallery will create an exciting cultural destination in the heart of St Albans City."
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