Its ground floor gallery has been completely revamped in the £75,000 project. The work includes reopening the hall’s original entrance on to Lansdown which has been blocked off for almost 100 years. The new entrance also includes an accessible ramp.
The gallery space has been enlarged and modernised and the toilets refurbished. It is the second phase of major work since Stroud Town Council bought the hall and saved it from closure.
The work was paid for by a £45,000 contribution from the town council and a £30,000 grant from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust with donations from the Cory Landfill Trust.
“We are delighted with the work,” said Jeremy Collingwood, chairman of the Lansdown Hall and Gallery trustees. “It’s another major step in creating a great community venue. Now we are accessible to everyone, whether they use a wheelchair or are pushing a pram and that is going to make the world of difference.”
Town councillor Steve Hurrell said that reopening the old entrance on Lansdown would make the hall and gallery more accessible.
“We are delighted these improvements to the gallery are working so well. The gallery has been revitalised and its first users are already very impressed,” he said. “We are now planning the next phases which will revitalise the Hall itself, with a wholly new accessible entrance, improved heating and lighting systems, a bar, and vital backstage facilities. Then the town will have a community venue available to hire for any occasion.”
The hall Trust has also done extensive work to improve the acoustics, thanks to a £6,000 grant from the Somerfield Trust.
The Lansdown Hall is used by a wide variety of community groups from youth theatre to singers and dancers. It is also available for private hire.
“We want the people of Stroud to think of us as their community hall and to make use of our facilities, whether it is dropping in to see an exhibition, to attend an event or to hold their own private function,” said Mr Collingwood.
For more information about Lansdown Hall and Gallery visit www.lansdownhall.org