St Johns Hall has been saved from redevelopment, and it has a secure future as an centre for the arts in Barmouth. The building has been bought by Harold Gassner, an art collector from Germany, and old friend of the artists in residence.
As well as sharing the artist’s vision for developing the hall as a centre for the arts in the widest possible sense, the new owner is also very interested in renovating the building to a high standard. The roof has been carefully repaired, the broken windows in the main hall have been fixed, three of the four doors have been repaired and painted, and a fourth has been repaired and is due to be rehung soon. Work has begun on renovating the cast iron guttering around the building, and soon the drains will be cleared and repaired. All this has been paid for by the new owner.
Some funds are also available for work on improving the interior of the main hall, which needs an insulated lining to enable the hall to be economically heated during cold weather. The new Community Interest Company which will be formed to oversee the management of the new gallery will be seeking to raise the shortfall in the money available for this important new stage in the work. More details of this will be posted on the gallery blog.
A group of ‘Friends of the Gallery’ is to be formed where members of the public may assist in the furthering of the gallery’s aims in various ways. Information about this will also be posted on the gallery’s blog in the near future.