First Sod Cut for Development Project

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In a celebration ceremony attended by nearly 100 supporters the Holburne today marked the beginning of its two year development project, which is supported by an award from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Holburne’s contractors Sir Robert McAlpine will begin work on site on Monday 30 March.

In a modern version of an ancient Roman ceremony, nearly 30 children from Bathwick St Mary Primary School planted bronze stars to mark the outline of the new building and to bring it good luck.

The Holburne’s chairman, David Posnett shared the spade with seven year old May and nine year old Fred from Batheaston to cut the first sod for the Holburne Project. This was to demonstrate the stake that youngsters have in the future of the re-opened Holburne.

The event was led by Don Foster MP and attended by Eric Parry, architect of the Holburne’s extension and Hector McAlpine, director for Sir Robert McAlpine.

Alexander Sturgis, director of the Holburne said: “This is a great day for the Holburne. At long last we are underway on a project that will create a wonderful new building for Bath and the region as well as a place of enjoyment and excitement.

The Holburne is already a much loved museum and when finished this project will allow us to welcome even more people of all ages and interests.”

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For further information please contact:
Katie Jenkins, Communications Officer,
The Holburne Museum of Art
Tel: 01225 820818

Notes to Editors

  • When it re-opens the Holburne will house a collection of fine and decorative arts, built around the delightful and exquisite art collection of Sir William Holburne – assembled in 19th century Bath. We now hold a nationally significant collection of paintings, Renaissance bronzes and maiolica, silver, sculpture, furniture and porcelain, including important and popular works by Brueghel, Gainsborough, Stubbs and Turner.  In recent years we have also established a national reputation for imaginative, scholarly and popular exhibitions.
  • The Holburne project will make us fully accessible to all visitors for the first time, allow more of the collection to be displayed than ever before and enable us to stage far more ambitious exhibitions, create a garden café and family friendly environment.
  • The total project cost is £13.6m of which £6.5m are fixed-fee construction costs and £3m will ensure our future security
  • The Holburne has so far raised £10.6m, comprising grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Lord and Lady Sainsbury’s Linbury Trust, Bath and North East Somerset Council, and many other independent donations.
  • The Holburne Project is planned to take two years. We will announce the date for re-opening in the Spring of 2010.
  • Holburne Project Lecture
    Alexander Sturgis, Director of the Holburne and Eric Parry, architect of the Museum’s extension will give a lecture on their plans for the Holburne Project at 6.30pm Wednesday 25 March at Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16 – 18 Queen Square, Bath. Tickets £5 on the door. Doors open 6pm.

Published on: 23/03/2009