Securing a new contractor to complete the restoration work on the Gallery
The month of September and October have been focused on securing a new contractor to complete the restoration work on the Gallery. Given that R J Barwick has gone in to administration, we have been working with the administrator in an effort to novate the contract to a new contractor. This week we interviewed three contractors, two of whom were local, to review their proposals. We are aiming to have chosen our new contractor by Christmas and commence work as soon as possible. While taking visitors round the Gallery on a hard hat tour, the silence on the site is eerie and frustrating, although the birds have returned with a vengeance.
The good news is that the building has been further secured by additional scaffolding and cover and security has been increased. So the work so far achieved is protected. We continue to welcome visitors in to the Information Point and we thank all of you – friends and donors, who have written to share your support for this new challenge on the Hope Project. We still hope to open by the end of 2010, but if we fail it will be because we want to ensure that we leave a Gallery which is carefully protected and open to all for another hundred years. As Watts’s iconic image of Hope portrays, despite all adversity, hope prevails. The restored Gallery will look ‘fabulous’ as one visitor commented looking at the recently revealed green tile picture rail which has re-emerged from the paint covering which has disguised the richness of the ceramic colour for over thirty years. Thank you for your patience, your support is more needed than ever.