Cheltenham Trust announces ambitious three-year vision

Peter Harkness, Chairman of Cheltenham Trust and Julie Finch, CEO, presenting the Cheltenham Trust I

Peter Harkness, Chairman of Cheltenham Trust and Julie Finch, CEO, presenting the Cheltenham Trust Impact Report at Cheltenham Town Hall - Credit: Archant

A three-year vision for transforming some of Gloucestershire’s key cultural, heritage and leisure assets has been unveiled by The Cheltenham Trust

The Cheltenham Trust, the independent charity, was established in 2014 to manage and develop the town’s key venues on behalf of Cheltenham Borough Council, including Cheltenham Town Hall, Pittville Pump Room, the Wilson Art Gallery and Museum, Leisure At Cheltenham and the Prince of Wales Stadium.

Key plans between now and 2020 include:

• Developing a full feasibility plan for Cheltenham Town Hall, which will be used to secure major external funding to enable a multi-million-pound transformation.

• Development of a ‘Sport and Play Hub’. The first phase of this, due to be completed in January 2018, is supported by up to a £1.5 million loan from Cheltenham Borough Council through a public works loan board and includes a range of improvements to Leisure At Cheltenham.

• Leisure At Cheltenham will also benefit from an additional £350,000 in capital and revenue grants from Sport England and Gloucestershire County Council. Improvements will be made to the disabled swimming changing and swimming disabled access, with revenue support for the development of swimming and access to services to run through to summer 2018.

• Further improvements to the Wilson Art Gallery and Museum, including the creation of an under-fives art discovery play area, better use of public gallery space and the commitment to attract more large art from national art institutions to widen and increase the appeal of the exhibitions.

• Opening up Pittville Pump Room to greater use to attract more diverse audiences and generate income.

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Julie Finch, CEO of the Cheltenham Trust, said: “We have launched an ambitious vision that aims to encourage greater participation across all of our venues by local people and attract more visitors to the town, increasing our footfall by 300,000 to 1.6 million by 2020.

“We want to build on the town’s cultural offer by completing the transformation of Cheltenham Town Hall and the Wilson Art Gallery and Museum, to ensure we take our place on the international arts stage and attract major touring exhibitions.

“As a charity, all the money that we generate can be reinvested in our venues, further improving our offering to the residents, businesses and visitors of Cheltenham.”

For more details on all the work The Cheltenham Trust do, visit the website here.

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