Gallery gets the green light for energy-saving bulbs and volunteer scheme

Published by B&NES Council 03/01/2012

The Victoria Art Gallery, owned and run by Bath & North East Somerset Council, has been awarded a grant of £50,000 from Arts Council England for environmentally-friendly improvements and work to further develop the role of volunteers.

The money will allow the Gallery to replace an antiquated system of spotlights in the large top-lit picture gallery with modern energy-saving LED lights, and at the same time create a new shop and ticket counter in a dedicated retail space on the ground floor.

The award also supports the development of the Gallery’s work with volunteers from the local community to ensure a more sustainable future.

The main elements of the project, which is to be completed by mid-April 2013, are as follows:

  • Remove the shop and reception counter from the large ground floor exhibition gallery
  • Build a new reception counter, ticket desk and shop in the small ground floor gallery
  • Route all visitors through the small gallery
  • Replace the old spotlights and lighting track in the permanent collection gallery on the first floor with energy-efficient LEDs
  • Extend and develop the use of volunteer guides.

Councillor Cherry Beath (Lib-Dem, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “Bath & North East Somerset Council is particularly grateful to Arts Council England as its grant funding is an endorsement of our efforts to make the Victoria Art Gallery more sustainable and energy-efficient in the future. We look forward to welcoming even more visitors and volunteers to share in our vision for the Gallery as a green and low-carbon attraction where local communities are empowered to flourish and be part of creatively.”

The Victoria Art Gallery boasts the best temporary exhibition spaces in the South West and is the Bath museum most visited by local people. Any members of the public interested in becoming volunteers at the Victoria Art Gallery should call 01225 396166 or email vag_volunteers@bathnes.gov.uk for further details.

Arts Council England’s Renaissance Strategic Support Fund offers investment in development opportunities across the museum sector to recognise excellence, and the potential for excellence, in museums of all sizes.

Phil Gibby, Arts Council England’s Director for the South West said: “The Arts Council’s Renaissance Strategic Support Fund aims to support accredited museums to make a step change in their operations, with a focus on future sustainability. Our funding of £50,000 towards this very practical project will support the Victoria Art Gallery’s aim to reduce costs and environmental impact while making a step change in its ability to generate income.  We are delighted to be able to invest in supporting them to become a more entrepreneurial and resilient organisation.”

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