Ipswich: Former art school bought by borough for museum development

IPSWICH: The museum has another reason to celebrate today after a major step towards creating a new heritage hub for the town was completed when the borough agreed to buy the former art school next door

The Ipswich Art School in the High Street opened as a gallery with an exhibition from the Saatchi Collection in 2010 and a major fundraising appeal was launched.

The appeal has raised the �270,000 needed to buy the building. Ipswich council’s executive has now agreed to go ahead with the purchase – and negotiations with its current owner Suffolk New College should be completed within the next few months.

That will enable the borough to go ahead with submitting an application for millions of pounds from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a major heritage centre including the museum, art school, High Street Gallery, and Wolsey Studio theatre.

Borough leader David Ellesmere said: “This purchase is great news for the town.

“The money was raised by an appeal, by the Friends of Ipswich Museum, and by other supporters including Maggi Hambling who studied at the Ipswich Art School.

“Now we can press ahead with our exciting plans for the site.”