Cecil Higgins Gallery

The Higgins Art Gallery & Museum, Bedford is the principal art gallery and museum in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England, run by Bedford Borough Council and the Trustees of the Cecil Higgins Collection.OverviewThe Higgins Art Gallery & Museum is situated in the Castle Quarter which occupies the site of Bedford Castle to the east of the High Street on the north side of the River Great Ouse Embankment. The quarter includes the Castle Bailey gardens, the Castle Quay development of flats, restaurants and shops, the Castle Mound, the John Bunyan Museum and the Art Gallery & Museum itself. The Art Gallery & Museum reopened after an extensive refurbishment in June 2013.The Higgins re-branding and developmentA £5.8m project has allowed the buildings to be joined together and redeveloped throughout, uniting on one site three previous cultural venues: Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford Museum and Bedford Gallery. It was felt within the organisation and the council that the new single building needed a new name that encompassed the history of the site and collections while being more straightforward than the interim merged name. 'The Higgins' was chosen for its connection with the site as the Higgins family home and business, and the prominent role the family played in the town including Charles Higgins (1789 - 1862) being mayor in 1848.The redevelopment of the Art Gallery & Museum was a phased process. Phase 1 was completed in April 2009 when Bedford Gallery was reopened. Bedford Gallery, a Grade II listed building and part of the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery & Bedford Museum complex, had fallen into disuse in 1973. The reopening of Bedford Gallery as a venue for touring exhibitions, lectures and events gave an insight into what Phase 2 of the reevelopment process would offer.

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