Work to transform St Albans grade II listed Town Hall into a museum and gallery has been given the go ahead.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has pledged £2.8m and St Albans District Council £2.25m towards the total project cost of £6.75m.

St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust is fundraising for the remaining £1.7m, which will be supported by the council’s museums service and the University of Hertfordshire. The fundraising project is called "renaissance: St Albans".

Last year the HLF awarded first phase development funding of £282,000 for the project, which will see the Museum of St Albans move to the Town Hall.

Work could not start on the partnership project until the HLF approved detailed plans for this first phase.

The council will now appoint a project manager, an architect and an exhibition and interpretation designer to develop the designs and long-term project plans needed to support a second-round application to the HLF for the balance of its £2.8m pledge.

A number of donations and pledges have already been received from both the St Albans University of the Third Age and St Albans Civic Society.

Visitors will be able to discover 2,000 years of St Albans history through displays and a tour of the Town Hall’s court room and prison cells. The Town Hall will also provide space for the University of Hertfordshire’s contemporary art gallery currently located with the Museum of St Albans in Hatfield Road.