News from The Wilson
The Wilson is currently closed due to the Covid19 regulations. The government’s roadmap out of lockdown suggests that museums and galleries will be able to re-open from May 17, in step three, subject to there being no changes necessitating a delay to the timeline.
As the Trust has previously reported, The Wilson will not re-open from May 17 as it is to undergo a major refurbishment programme following a significant bequest from The Charles Irving Trust. This bequest will enable the creation of a community arts gallery on the first floor mezzanine and a vibrant arts café on the ground floor.
Contractors have been invited to tender for this work and currently the process has shortlisted to two potential contractors. It is anticipated that the Trust will be in a position to award the tender shortly and announce the successful contractor.
The tender process highlighted the opportunity to deliver an enhanced and expanded scheme for The Wilson, including the creation of much needed artists’ studios. The Trust is actively seeking additional funding to deliver the expanded scheme that will ensure a more financially sustainable model for The Wilson as a prominent visitor destination for Cheltenham.
Based on the scale of the refurbishment, The Wilson is unlikely to re-open before Christmas 2021. The aim is to complete the works and re-open by 1 April 2022.
This enhanced refurbishment will establish The Wilson as a key element of the new digital, media and culture quarter being created in the area around The Minster, with work starting soon on the new business innovation park, adjoining the art gallery and museum.