Hailed as the one of the most exciting developments the city has seen for a decade, the renaissance project by the St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust to renovate the old St Albans Town Hall is well and truly underway, with the hoardings now constructed. The Trust's aim is to provide a fantastic museum and art gallery that will take centre stage in the heart of St Albans' town centre.
Mike Gray, Chair of the St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust, explains: "St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust is leading the £7.75 million fundraising campaign to develop a new museum and gallery in St Albans, in partnership with the St Albans District Council and the University of Hertfordshire Arts faculty.
"Dan Fletcher and James Newell, of Kingston Smith Fundraising & Management, worked with the Trust to develop a case for support and a fundraising plan to approach major donors in late 2014. They also created job descriptions and assisted us in recruiting a freelance fundraiser to lead the major gifts work. Their input helped move our fundraising campaign on and we are now very close to the finish line, with over 90% of the funds raised. Dan subsequently provided advice about the fundraising strategy we submitted to HLF during Phase 2, as well as suggesting improvements to our community fundraising efforts. Kingston Smith has also supported the campaign through corporate sponsorship."
Silvia Vitiello, not for profit partner at Kingston Smith in St Albans, comments: "This project will be an excellent asset to the community and will become a real hub of creativity and learning for our wonderful city. Not only has the renovation had the corporate support of Kingston Smith, but it has really won the hearts of our staff members, who are contributing by raising funds through a range of charitable activities. Dan Fletcher has personally raised £750 by running the St Albans Half Marathon for the past two years in aid of the project – which is no mean feat!
"The St Albans Business Women's Group and the St Albans Business Lunch Club, which we have the privilege of running, are fundraising through its members. The donations will ensure the clubs' names are inscribed on oak honours board that will be displayed in the new museum once it opens, marking their history long into the future. I'm really looking forward to seeing the transformation of this iconic building over the next 18 months."
Set to open in Spring 2018, this project will reveal the story of St Albans and its outstanding significance to national heritage, ensuring that residents and visitors alike can share and take pride in the history of the city.