Herbert Art Gallery and Museum

The Herbert Museum and Art gallery at night
The Herbert Museum and Art gallery at night

Project description

Aims and objectives

Project Start Date and End Date

The project began in 2003/4 and finished in October 2008

Services offered

In addition to housing a diverse collection of historical documents, the museum offers a wide range of services and facilities including:

  • 8 new permanent themed galleries, including Art since 1900, Sculpture and History (Medieval, Victorian and Modern) with interactive displays
  • 5 Temporary exhibition spaces
  • Dedicated education spaces throughout the gallery, catering for schools, colleges and all the family
  • Herbert Media studios- is an established resource centre, providing training, workshops and other learning opportunities catering for all levels of experience. The Centre has worked in partnership with a range of local and national educational institutions including Connexions and Scholastics UK
  • A well designed contemporary glass atrium
  • An online exhibition site, enabling the public to view exhibitions not currently on show

Success factors

There were a range of factors which contributed to the success of the Herbert Museum and Art Gallery. The Museum already possesses a unique and diverse collection of artifacts drawn from the local community from the medieval to the modern.

The new temporary exhibition spaces make it possible for the Herbert to welcome touring exhibitions from national museums. They have exploited this opportunity to develop partnerships with the British Museum, V&A and other nationals, enabling them to bring leading exhibitions to regional audiences. As a result of the redevelopment, the new temporary exhibition spaces has enabled the Museum to accommodate touring exhibitions from national Museums, creating opportunities for partnership working with World renowned museums like the British Museum and Victoria and Albert.

The Herbert Museum was recently awarded the Best Family Friendly Museum in Britain in the Guardian Family Friendly Awards 2010. The Museum has also been long listed for the Art Fund Prize for Museums and Galleries.

Risk factors

Because the commissioning of the project was the responsibility of Coventry City Council only they can answer this question. Please contact [email protected]  who is the Head of Culture Leisure & Libraries for Coventry City Council

Business/operational model

The Art gallery and Museum is managed by the Coventry Heritage and Arts Trust on behalf of Coventry City Council.

Financing and delivery/procurement

The Herbert redevelopment project was funded by a wide range of partners including:

  • Coventry City Council
  • European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
  • Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
  • Renaissance West Midlands
  • Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS)
  • Wolfson Foundation Fund,
  • Advantage West Midlands
  • English Heritage

Measurement and Monitoring

The success of the new redevelopment can be viewed in a range of ways. Previously, the average visitor numbers were on average 80,000 a year, however they have risen to 311,000. The Museum and Art Gallery has also been well received by the public, and has received exceptionally positive feedback.

Future developments

The Trust is focused on maintaining the quality of its existing offer and consolidating its relationship with the dramatically increased new audiences it has developed.

Living places in action

Contact details

Ludo Keston, Chief Executive
Coventry Arts and Heritage Trust

Visit project website
Visit art fund website