2010 has been an important milestone for the Hope project
2010 has been an important milestone for the Hope project in two ways. It marks the year when the Gallery reopens and the year when we have secured 2010 Friends. I am still hoping that we will achieve both aims! We were delighted that just before Christmas we could celebrate securing 1000 Friends, and now it is our task and all those who wish to support our efforts to save one of Europe's most beautiful small galleries, to join us as Friends to reach our 2010 target. This challenge is greatly helped by the offer of a kind 'angel' who matches the first time subscription for each new Friend. Therefore, your £20 annual subscription delivers nearly £100 for the Gallery!
On the subject of snow, there has been some concern about the weight of the snow on the scaffolding roof, but so far the structure has withheld the worst of the downfall. Good progress is being made to secure a contractor and with a fair wind, support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, agreement by the Administrator of Barwicks and the Bondsman, work should restart on site in February. During this difficult time, I remain immensely grateful for the support we have received from over 200 people who have written to support Watts Gallery's efforts to secure funds to complete the restoration.
The volunteers at Watts Gallery, who number over 150, have continued to be inspiring in their commitment and positive energy and today we are being interviewed for a possible award for Volunteering. Let's hope that their efforts can achieve this wider recognition.