Work to turn Gosport's Old Grammar School into museum and art gallery will start next month

REDEVELOPMENT work to turn an old grammar school into a state-of-the-art museum will begin next month.

Friday, 6th August 2021, 2:19 pm
Updated Friday, 6th August 2021, 3:15 pm
An artist's impression of what the Gosport Museum and Art Gallery entrance will look like. Picture: Hampshire Cultural Trust

After receiving almost £1m from Hampshire County Council and Historic England, Hampshire Cultural Trust will be closing the Old Grammar School in Gosport High Street on August 31, transforming what is currently Gosport Gallery and Search into the Gosport Museum and Art Gallery.

Refurbishing the site into a community hub, the trust will put military heritage at the forefront of the museum, with education programmes and a dementia-friendly cafe.

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Paul Sapwell, chief executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: ‘We’re thrilled that planning permission has been granted so that we can now forge ahead with creating Gosport Museum and Art Gallery.

'The rejuvenated building will blend history, heritage, arts, education and culture all under one roof. There will be a programme of exhibitions, talks, workshops and events, as well as curriculum-linked science and history sessions for schools.

'The new museum will see Gosport’s rich naval, military and social heritage take pride of place in the centre of town, while the cafe will provide a fantastic and unique meeting space in and for the community.’

The former grammar school is a Grade Two listed building, meaning regulations are in place to protect its historical and architectural significance.

Hampshire Cultural Trust has also released the first artist image of what the new museum will look like, and hopes are high that the project will be completed by May next year.

The project has also received a £100,000 award from Arts Council England.

Area director Phil Gibby said: 'The new community hub will transform Gosport Museum and Art Gallery, bring invaluable arts and cultural experiences to the local community and breathe fresh life into the beautiful Old Grammar School building.

'The redevelopment is a key part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone project and will play a central role in Gosport Place Board’s longer term plans for achieving town centre regeneration through cultural redevelopment.

'We know that investing in culture creates jobs, revives high streets and makes people proud of the place they live – which is why we’re so pleased to support this fantastic project in Gosport from Hampshire Cultural Trust.'

Overall, the Hampshire Cultural Trust manages 26 arts and museum attractions across the county.

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