£300,000 donation offered to Worcester Art Gallery
A Worcester philanthropist has offered to boost the collection of art works at Worcester Art Gallery and Museum, and the city's broader cultural status, by donating £300,000.
If the plan is approved by Worcester City Council's Policy and Resources Committee, the donation will be used to purchase new works of art, to allow displays in the gallery to be more spread out over a larger space, and to improve visitor facilities at the Foregate Street building.
The donor, who currently wishes to remain anonymous, hopes to raise the profile of the Art Gallery by helping to purchase artworks that will attract national and international attention to enhance the cultural life of Worcester, in turn helping to bring more tourists to the city.
The donor said: "This donation, if confirmed, will provide a timely opportunity for a significant development of Worcester Art Gallery and Museum and its internal and display areas, to add to its collection and to encourage other galleries to lend work from their collections.
"It would also provide a focus to attract other public contributions, both in terms of financial donations and suitable works of art, providing an additional draw to the public and tourists, while also helping to promote the economic and cultural status of Worcester."
Councillor Marc Bayliss, Leader of the City Council, said: "This is an extremely generous donation and I hope it can provide a significant legacy to both Worcester Art Gallery and our city's culture. On behalf of Worcester, I would like to thank the donor for this remarkable act of philanthropy."
The donation would support plans that are already being drawn up to expand the building's art gallery space and improve its visitor facilities as part of Worcester's Town Investment Plan, which recently secured £19.6m from the Government.
Plans are also underway to establish a new charity to support fundraising for the city and county museums, and – if approved – the news of this donation would be used as the basis for attracting further contributions.
The Policy and Resources Committee will consider the offer of the donation at its meeting on 7 September.