Multi-million pound bid to upgrade Worcester Art Gallery and Museum is dropped
A PLAN to upgrade the city’s art gallery and museum as part of a £20m bid to the government has been scrapped.
Worcester City Council has decided to scrap plans to refurbish Worcester Art Gallery and Museum in Foregate Street as part of a multi-million pound bid for the government to ‘level up’ the money .
The council’s Policy and Resources Committee has backed the rest of the bid, which includes millions to build a new race track and facilities at Nunnery Wood Sports Center and a new grandstand and boardroom at Pitchcroft Racecourse of Worcester.
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The council said it had dropped plans to include the refurbishment of the Worcester Art Gallery and Museum in its latest ‘level up’ bid over fears of rising costs.
Bosses said they would remove the project from its shortlist as it would require the council to purchase another building and pay ongoing costs which it said ‘cannot be estimated’ at present.
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The council said it was not abandoning the plan and would look to find other ways to fund the work.
Cllr Pat Agar said the town needed to be as good at promoting its artistic and cultural heritage as it was promoting its sporting facilities and that work to improve the art gallery was “vital”.
“It would be good to see the offer of art and cultural heritage reach this level. He has to,” she told the Policy and Resources Committee during a meeting at the Guildhall on Monday July 5.
“It would be very sad if we weren’t able to find a decent amount of money elsewhere to support the changes the art gallery needs to make.
“We could really be a regional center. We have recently acquired some very important works of art which will attract tourists and aficionados from all over the country and possibly from abroad.
Cllr Marc Bayliss, Leader of the City Council, said he would like to see the work done despite being excluded from the bid.
“I think it’s still a viable and really good project and hopefully we can do it with our agents and the money we have in the fund.”