A vote of confidence in successful gallery
THE future of a popular gallery has been secured after borough council bosses agreed to grant it a 25 year rent-free lease.
The Gardens Gallery, which calls the Proscenium building in Montpellier Gardens home, needed a new long term tenancy agreement to secure a grant to pay for green energy modifications.
And cabinet members at Cheltenham Borough Council have agreed to grant the gallery its wish.
The agreement will see the council take care of the rent leaving the gallery to look after its exhibitions.
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Councillor John Rawson (LD, St Peter's), deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for finance, said: "The Gardens Gallery is a remarkable success story in Cheltenham.
"It arose from the work that was done some years ago to improve Montpellier Gardens.
"The Proscenium was designed to be used as a stage but a group of art lovers had the idea of creating a community art gallery in it and it was restored with that in mind.
"The gallery has made a real success of it. It is backed up with exhibitions for months and even years ahead. It is only reasonable that we should support their endeavours.
"Long may they continue to have the success they are having."
The group behind the Gardens Gallery has had its bid to Gloucestershire Environmental Trust for the installation of air-source heat pumps to provide the building with green energy accepted.
Its bid was dependent on it having at least a 15 year lease.
The new agreement with the council will have a clause allowing the tenant – the gallery – to get out of the agreement after 15 years and will be reviewed every five years.
The Gardens Gallery moved into the Proscenium building in 2007.
The gallery is so popular with visitors that it is understood that it already has work lined up for exhibitions scheduled for the next two years.