Hampshire Cultural Trust has received initial support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the redevelopment Alton’s Allen Gallery and Garden and an expansion of its programme for the local community. Made possible by National Lottery players, this project aims to redesign and reinterpret the gallery’s nationally significant ceramic collection, create multi-use community spaces, establish a clearer visible link between the gallery and the garden, and develop a new engagement programme aimed at attracting currently under-served community groups.
Development funding of £285,591 has been awarded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help Hampshire Cultural Trust progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant of £1 million a later date.
The second stage of funding will go towards the building’s capital redevelopment, exhibition and interpretation design, collections management, development of the visitor experience as well as a new community activity programme. Hampshire Cultural Trust, the independent charity that operates the Allen Gallery, is taking steps to fulfil specific objectives within this project, including: a wider range of people being involved in and learning about their local heritage; the development of skills and improvement of wellbeing within the local community, as well as boosting Alton’s economy and appeal as a place to live, work or visit.
In order to achieve the aims of this ambitious project, community engagement will be at its heart. There will be an emphasis on expanding the volunteering programme and developing skills for both new and existing staff and volunteers, as well as working together with local partnerships and engaging further local stakeholders. This project is also looking to create jobs, with two new roles fully funded for the project’s development phase.
The Allen Gallery is a focal point for the local community, situated in the historic market town of Alton and is an intimate setting for one of the nation’s most outstanding collections of ceramics. Alongside its inspiring permanent displays, the Allen Gallery hosts a wide variety of temporary exhibitions all year round, as well as a regular programme of events and activities for all the family to enjoy, drop-in sessions, talks and bookable workshops.
The development phase will run until December 2023 and, if successful, the delivery phase will start in the following year with the new programme launching in 2025.