Dorset

Sherborne's £4m Paddock Project art gallery plans submitted

An artist's impression of the gallery Image copyright Paddock Project
Image caption The venue is also expected to include three gallery spaces, a coffee shop and a sensory or memory garden

Plans for a new £4m art gallery have been submitted.

The Paddock Project, in Sherborne, Dorset, would incorporate a a tourist information centre and restaurant into the building.

Sherborne Community Arts Centre Trust wants to build the venue on a site behind the town's Paddock Gardens.

It has sent a pre-planning application to West Dorset District Council. The trust said it would hold public consultations but has not given dates.

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An anonymous benefactor has agreed to fund the project, which is also expected to include three gallery spaces, a coffee shop and a sensory or memory garden.

West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin described the project as an "incredible opportunity" for Sherborne.

"It will also provide a catalyst for change that will transform the local economy," he added.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The group wants the main entrance to the venue to be created through Paddock Gardens which would involve removing one of its stone walls

The plans have also been backed by local schools The Gryphon, Sherborne School for Girls and Sherborne Preparatory School, as well as community arts organisation Sherborne ArtsLink which said the project would offer "a stimulating artistic environment".

The trust wants the main entrance to the venue to be created through Paddock Gardens, which is currently owned by the town council, and would involve removing one of its stone walls.

The trust estimates the gallery could attract between 50,000 and 80,000 visitors a year.

The town's current tourist information centre is based on Digby Road.

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