Visitors to a Coventry gallery have been enjoying its new £1.2 million refurbishment for the first time after completion by a leading local developer.
Coventry-based Deeley Construction completed the improvement works at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in April, while it was still closed to the public due to Covid-19 restrictions.
It is now back open to the public and visitors can enjoy several newly refurbished galleries, four redeveloped larger galleries and improved welcome area, café, retail area and toilet facilities.
The gallery is managed by charity Culture Coventry and the work was funded by the Cultural Capital Investment Fund, which is resourced by Coventry City Council and Arts Council England.
It is set to host its first major events when UnNatural History and 2 Tone: Lives and Legacies open to the public on May 29, the first in a year-long programme of events as part of Coventry’s UK City of Culture 2021 schedule.
Work completed to the gallery will significantly reduce its carbon footprint, while providing the perfect environmental conditions for showcasing world-leading art collections.
The several refurbished galleries can be found on the first floor with new wall linings, flooring and lighting.
While the four redeveloped galleries have been modernised and enable the hosting of large, world-class exhibitions.
Deeley Construction completed the redevelopment work with many of the gallery’s art pieces still in place and acted under strict procedures set by on-site art specialists.
Martin Gallagher, Managing Director of Deeley Construction, said: “We’re proud to have played our part in improving one of the city’s leading art and cultural institutions ahead of a huge year for Coventry.
“Our team liaised closely with the gallery’s art curators to ensure works progressed smoothly and that the collections already housed at the Herbert were protected.
“We completed the works largely when the gallery was closed to the public, so it’s fantastic to see people finally being able to enjoy the results of the finished renovation and the new spaces that have been created.”
Paul Breed, Chief Executive of Culture Coventry, added: “We are delighted to finally be back open and able to share our new-look spaces with visitors.
“It has been great to work with a trusted, local, family firm such as Deeley Construction as the main contractor on this project. The work completed will not only prove essential to up-scaling events for our City of Culture year, but also help us to achieve our ambitious legacy plans.”
Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, added: “It’s such a boost to everyone to see visitors at The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, especially after the revamp and the extra spaces that have been created.
“I can’t wait to visit myself. Lots of people and organisations have been supporting and working on the improvements and everyone deserves a lot of credit after the challenges of the pandemic.
“This is a venue that people of all ages can enjoy for many years to come.”