The Project Brief



An impression of the new cafe space

The Gallery staff and Board have spent the last few months reviewing and refining the brief for the expansion. This brief sets out the Gallery’s intention for the spaces in the new building, as well as thoughts about their quality and use. This brief is essential in helping to meet our aims and objectives.

The key aims are to:

  • expand the Gallery’s audience to at least 100,000 visitors per year
  • increase the Gallery’s financial sustainability and reduce its dependence on public funding

In order to meet these aspirations, we will be  adapting existing spaces as well as constructing new ones.  These spaces will be: high quality in their design and execution; cost effective to run; energy and maintenance efficient; easy to use and fully accessible; and flexible in their layout.

In addition to the upgrade and renovation of the existing gallery spaces, the new spaces consist of the following:

  •  Additional state of the art gallery spaces to provide a total of at least 520sqm- more than double the existing provision.  All galleries will  be fully environmentally controlled, enabling the display of more vulnerable, historical loans.
  • Three cinemas with a combined capacity of around 300 seats, which will show a carefully curated selection of independent and art house films.
  • A new bar and café area – the current lack of catering facilities is the most common cause of complaint from current visitors. Situated near the entrance, the café will make the most of the Gallery’s location and will  spill out to outdoor areas.
  • An enhanced entrance and bookshop, with clear and easy signage and information on events and exhibitions.  The new shop will be bigger and better than the existing one, and will offer a wide variety of books and gifts.
  • A brand new, state of the art, education and learning suite to enable our fantastic learning programme to grow and serve more people from Milton Keynes and beyond
  • Upgraded staff, workshop and ancillary spaces to improve our ways of working and help to cut operational costs.
  • Enhanced facilities for disabled visitors to enhanve their experience and enable the development of suitable programmes and workshops.

The design team are working very hard to ensure that all of these aspirations are included within the design proposals, which are developing on a daily basis!  More on the design to come – and do join us in the Project Space on Thursday 10 April for a special viewing of the concept designs, when members of the design team will be present to discuss their ideas and receive your feedback!