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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > June 2013 > The Higgins Bedford

The Higgins Bedford

The Higgins Bedford – Not long now!

 

As The Higgins Bedford’s dawn to dusk launch fast approaches, people are being encouraged to pick-up a copy of the art gallery and museums ‘What’s On Guide’, which covers the period from June – September 2013. Copies are available at the Tourist Information Centre, at Borough Hall’s reception and Bedford Central Library.

 

The much anticipated opening of The Higgins Bedford will take place on the longest day of the year, Friday 21st June, spanning across 17 hours.

 

The Higgins Bedford will bring together an internationally renowned art collection with a brand new visitor experience of national significance that does justice to the stories behind the people, places and collections associated with the former Cecil Higgins Art Gallery and Bedford Museum. The £5.8 million project also features a hugely expanded floorspace for exhibitions, state-of-the-art modern facilities and the latest technology to enable people of all ages to enjoy the displays. 

 

The Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “A huge amount of work has been done in preparation for this occasion, and it’s great to see the anticipation of the opening rising with each passing day. The redeveloped Higgins Bedford belongs to us all, and we can’t wait to throw the doors open to this fantastic, free cultural attraction for all ages right in the heart of Bedford town centre.”

 

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “This exciting project helps complete the town’s new cultural heart with fascinating collections of regional and national importance. I know that local people and visitors are going to enjoy The Higgins Bedford for many years to come.”

 

The transformed art gallery and museum is located in the historic buildings of Castle Brewery and the adjoining Victorian family home, both built by the Higgins family in the mid-19th Century.

 

The major transformation and successful redevelopment of The Higgins Bedford has only been possible thanks to £3.2 million funding from Bedford Borough Council, as well as a grant of £959,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £100,000 from the Trustees of the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, £500,000 from the Wixamtree Trust, £500,000 from The Harpur Trust, £350,000 from the Monument Trust, and £200,000 from Charles Wells Ltd, in addition to funding from a number of other sources. Bedford Borough Council would like to thank all of the funders for championing this project throughout.

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