Page last updated at 11:28 GMT, Friday, 24 July 2009 12:28 UK

Council backs 5.5m gallery plans

Artist's impression of the building
Building costs for the extension have been estimated at 5.5m

Plans for an extension to Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum have been approved by the town's borough council.

The new £5.5m building in the Gloucestershire town will include galleries, open access storage, study facilities and learning spaces.

Jane Lillystone, Museum and Arts Manager, said: "This is fantastic news for our Development Scheme."

A £500,000 grant from the Monument Trust was awarded to the gallery on Thursday, to help with costs.

Gary Collins, Associate Director at Architects Berman Guedes Stretton, said: "Much consultation between the design team, our client, the public and outside interest groups has helped shape the design."

Ms Lillystone, added: "In achieving this key milestone we can now move forward to the launch of the Phase II Fundraising Campaign in September.

"We have so far raised an amazing 70% of the funds needed to start construction - the remainder of which we hope to secure by spring or summer 2010.

"To complete the planning process a further decision will be required on the listed building, conservation area consent, and we hope to achieve this during August.

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