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Council and University join forces to boost museum project

Efforts to create a new £7.75 million museum and gallery in St Albans are benefiting from the involvement of the University of Hertfordshire.

Town Hall

The project has become a cornerstone of a partnership agreement between the University and St Albans City and District Council. Other partners include the St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust.
The Council plans to turn the Town Hall in the centre of the City into a new museum and gallery with late 2017 being the target opening date.
Pivotal decisions on Heritage Lottery Funding and on planning permission are expected in the next few months.
Details of the University’s role were revealed in an update on the partnership given to a meeting of the Council’s Cabinet on Thursday 24 September.
The University, through Chris McIntyre, Dean of Cultural Affairs, and his team have worked tirelessly over many years to support the creative life of St Albans.
They are currently involved in planning the public programme of the new museum and gallery as well as the content of the collections and the associated interpretation.
In another associated initiative, the partnership is now committed to developing a 25-year vision for culture, heritage and the arts in St Albans.
The Council and the University are working together to set out objectives and achieve them through the creation of an arts and culture network across the District.
This will include devising a Culture Map of the area, a resource that highlights cultural hot spots and publicises events.
Councillor Julian Daly, Executive Leader and Portfolio Holder for Planning and Conservation for St Albans City and District Council, said: “The partnership we have with the University continues to grow and deepen.
“The new museum and gallery project is one of the biggest challenges the Council and the St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust faces. The involvement of the University greatly strengthens our hand.”