The hall’s long gallery was designated by Fylde Council’s Tourism and Leisure Committee to house the artistic gems, following a detailed review of potential locations by elected officers and members.
The collection, which has been in the care of the council and its predecessor Lytham St Annes Council, since the 1920s, has been in my home since the Fylde Gallery, abive Booths in Lytham, closed just before lockdown more than two years since.
The new proposal recommends that the Council’s Finance and Democracy Committee approve an addition of £65,000, to be met in full from the Capital Investment Reserve, to create a safe and secure dedicated space for the ‘art.
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This would further ensure that the display of the art collection in the Long Gallery would meet the rigorous spectrum standards required for museum-level accreditation.
Additional funding of £10,000 per year will be recommended to the full board to enable the continued resourcing and facilitation of the project.
Councilor Michael Sayward, chairman of the Tourism and Leisure Committee, said: ‘Lytham Hall is a valuable asset not just to Fylde but to the whole nation, and although all the sites surveyed have much to recommend them, we could not not help but be impressed by the fantastic potential of the Long Gallery and the opportunity to showcase the Lytham St Annes art collection in a Grade I listed historic attraction.
“Once the proposed works are completed, the art collection will be safer, more secure and much more accessible to the public, and I strongly believe it will be eligible for museum accreditation.”
The council said that if the Finance and Democracy Committee approved the proposal, the council, Heritage Trust for the North West and Lytham Hall would then move forward in partnership to establish appropriate responsibilities for the operation of the gallery and for the exhibits. . The proposed deadline for completion of the work is March 2023.
The Lytham St Annes Art Collection includes many works by artist Richard Ansdell, after whom the village between Lytham and St Annes is named, with the very first work donated to the Collection, his painting The Herd Lassie.