Celebrating the official opening of the extension at 78 Derngate
Organisations across West Northamptonshire came together on Friday, 7 July to celebrate the official opening of the expanded 78 Derngate and Darren Henley, CEO of Arts Council England, cut the aptly coloured yellow ribbon for the splendid, sunny, celebratory occasion.
Part of the reception involved guests taking self-guided tours of Northampton’s iconic and historic 78 Derngate - which has been expanded to offer a larger visitor centre, rejuvenated secluded garden and totally revamped shop following the completion of the extensive £950,000 refurbishment in June this year - and flowing through the galleries, shop and gardens.
As the only public building located outside Scotland with interiors designed by renowned artist, Charles Rennie Mackintosh this local gem and former home is a now a museum. Following funding from West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) of £400,000 through the Town Funds, £200,000match funding from WNC and generous donations from a multitude of individuals and organisations the expansion to this cultural facility reached completion in May this year, following more than 12 months of regeneration work.
The site now boasts an extension to the main buildings and enhanced gardens, allowing larger groups to visit and enjoy the museum, as well as benefit from an enriched visitor experience at one of Northampton’s most popular attractions.
Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth at WNC, said: “I am delighted that representatives from key organisations including the Arts Council were able to join WNC and 78 Derngate Trust to celebrate the official opening of the redevelopment of this local gem. The expansion provides enhanced facilities for visitors, which I hope people will enjoy for years to come.”
Liz Jansson, House Manager at 78 Derngate, added: “It was a great pleasure to welcome Darren Henley,CEO of Arts Council England, to officially open this wonderful extension. We are thrilled with it and are settling in well to our enhanced surroundings! Visitors past, present and yet to come will thoroughly enjoy the added spaces inside and out, which already feel harmonious with the original heritage buildings.”
West Northamptonshire Council has secured £25 million from the Government’s Town Fund to regenerate Northampton Town Centre. This project is the first to benefit from the funding and reach completion. It will complement the wider regeneration of Northampton Town Centre where works can already be seen at the rejuvenation of the historic Market Square and the empathetic restoration to bring the former Old Black Lion Pub back into use for the community.
To keep up to date with regeneration projects across West Northamptonshire visit regenerationpage.