A former garage space in Bushey has been converted into a state-of-the-art gallery and exhibition room thanks to an infrastructure fund.

Reveley Lodge’s new Stables Gallery was officially unveiled last Thursday (September 12) following a £28,000 transformation that has seen hot water and gas heating installed, as well as internet access.

A new double-glazed glass frontage was also put in, while vinyl flooring was laid and security cameras were mounted.

At the unveiling, a commemorative plaque was presented by Hertsmere Borough Councillor Dr Harvey Cohen to Reveley Lodge Trust chairman Granville Taylor.

Cllr Cohen said: “It has been a complete transformation. From a space that, I’m told, was damp, dusty and dark to one that is inviting, bright and attractive.

“This space can be used by the whole of the Bushey community for workshops, exhibitions and meetings, so that residents can come together whether they are looking to develop new skills, learn more about their local heritage or just for entertainment.

“It will also provide an extra income stream for a charity dedicated to ensuring the upkeep and future of a historic and valuable local asset.”

A centrepiece at the Stables Gallery is a picture of Beatrice Wix, a model who posed for former Reveley Lodge owner and Herkomer Art School pupil Albert Chewett.

Her daughter-in-law, Joan Bygrave and five of her daughters, Rebecca, Veronica, Zoe, Caroline and Bridget, attended the official opening. It was the first time they had seen the picture face-to-face.

Mr Taylor added: “Reveley Lodge Trust was delighted to be awarded a grant from Hertsmere’s Community Infrastructure Fund and we are very grateful for the council’s support.

"Together with a generous donation from a benefactor, it has allowed us to complete our project to transform our old garages.

"The Stables Gallery, as we are calling it, has already been used by various community groups and we have every confidence its use by the community will continue to grow.”

The project received £10,000 from the council’s Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF) which is a pool of funding collected from a levy on certain types of new development that can be used for improving local facilities and services.

Around £800,000 of council money has been set aside to help projects and communities in Hertsmere.

Earlier this year it was announced that 16 organisations had been successful in bidding for CIF funding.

Two groups received larger amounts of money, totalling more than £600,000, including Elstree University and Technical College and Communities 1st (formerly Community Hertsmere).

Funding for a further 14 groups, including schools and sports clubs, was agreed by the council’s Executive committee in December last year, with the money set to help improve community buildings, outdoor spaces and sports facilities.

Other recipients include the Noah’s Ark Hospice, which was given £29,467 to help facilitate the construction costs of The Ark, a children's hospice in nearby High Barnet.