Two million needed to save the Derby Museum and Art Gallery

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The Derby Museum and Art Gallery home is deteriorating to such an extent that a full repair of the building could cost at least £ 2million, according to a report.

Leaders of Derby City Council, which owns the Grade II listed town center museum, have approved permission to bid for government funding of around £ 750,000 so that work to protect the building can potentially begin next year.

A report from the council says repairing and protecting the future of the Derby Museum and Art Gallery is an “essential” project that will help extend the life of the building and protect the museum’s collections from damage. damage.

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The report says there are currently “significant challenges to the fabric of the Derby Museum and Art Gallery” and the City Council has commissioned external conservation specialists to undertake a detailed survey of the building.

Problems with the building at The Strand include deterioration of the fabric, water infiltration and continuously leaking roofs.

The report, which can be read in full on the council’s website, states: “Urgent items to address fabric deterioration and water infiltration over the next 1-2 years include replacing the flat roof covering, indicating masonry work and consequential damage repairs. caused by continuously leaking roofs.

“This will extend the life of the building and help protect the Council’s art and museum collection from damage.

“The high level budgetary costs for the works are in the range of £ 2-2.5million. These are not final costs and are pre-RIBA steps for the investigation of the state to inform the likely costs of repairs. “

The Museum and Art Gallery, established in 1879, houses the world’s largest collection of works by renowned Derby-born artist Joseph Wright.

City Council is to bid for funding from Museum Estate Development (MEND) which is administered by Arts Council England. The money in the prize pool is to help accredited non-national museums across England with urgent maintenance and improve their basic infrastructure.

However, City Council said it would have to commit additional funding of between £ 1.25million and £ 1.75million – if its bid is successful – as budget estimates indicate the work could cost between £ 2million and £ 2.5million.

This could put additional pressure on the 2021/22 board finances, which were declared at a meeting last week in a “worrying” state by one of the board’s top finance bosses.

If the council’s funding request is approved, the project must begin on-site no later than April 25, 2022 and the deadline to complete all activities is March 25, 2025.

A spokesperson for Derby City Council said: “The Derby Museum and Art Gallery is a key part of the city’s cultural offerings and a historic Grade II listed building.

“Helping our colleagues at the Museums Trust to apply for the MEND fund will help us protect the future of the museum and the art gallery and the nationally significant collections it houses. “

The management team of the Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby Museums, said the news of the council’s funding request was a “positive step forward”.

Tony Butler, Executive Director of Derby Museums, said: “We have worked closely with Derby City Council to provide external funding to the city.

“It will be great if we are able to secure some of this funding and continue some of the required work on the building.

“It’s a really positive step forward that we can get this funding – it’s a really competitive process. It will help secure the collections in the future.”

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