Heritage-building specialist Purcell has been commissioned to extend Northampton Museum and Art Gallery - a project set to be part paid for with £8million from the sale of an Egyptian statue
Northampton Borough Council is proposing a £14million scheme that would double the facility’s current floorspace to 2,300m2, with additional gallery areas, a new entrance exhibition space, an education suite and new shops.
The authority is also planning a major refurbishment of its Abington Park Museum, focusing on the building’s connection with William Shakespeare and the history of the Northamptonshire Regiments.
Work will be part-funded by last week’s controversial sale of a 4,400-year-old limestone statue from the museum’s collection, which was sold on behalf of the authority by auction house Christie’s.
The borough said its share of the proceeds from the sale would be “around £8m” after a share of the cash was remitted to Lord Northampton, and that it was developing a funding package to take the extension forward, including putting together a bid for support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Architect Laura Highton, from Purcell’s Nottingham studio, confirmed that the practice had been appointed project architect for the feasibility study for the museum extension.
“The design work is currently in progress and we’ll be developing a more detailed proposal over the coming months,” she said.
A Northampton Borough Council spokeswoman added: “Details of the full team that will be working with us on the project going forward will be released in due course.”
Focus Consultants are the project managers for the scheme