Urgent repairs are needed at Bury Art Museum with paintings and other works at risk of being damaged by water passing through the leaky roof.

An application for listed building consent lodged in the past few days states "water ingress poses a risk to the artwork housed inside the museum" and that primary façades now have visible damage from water.

The application says the historic significance of the entire Grade II listed building is under threat from "physical fabric loss" caused by numerous failings in the roof allowing rainwater to enter the spaces below.

The art gallery, on Moss Street, was specially built to house the Wrigley Collection, around 200 oil paintings, watercolours, prints and ceramics collected by paper manufacturer Thomas Wrigley.

His three children gave the collection to the townsfolk of Bury in 1897.

Bury Art Gallery

Bury Art Gallery

Among the notable oil paintings on display are JMW Turner’s "Calais Sands at Low Water", Poissard’s "Collecting Bait", Sir Edwin Landseer’s "The Random Shot" and Lady Elizabeth Butler’s "Listed For The Connaught Rangers".

Successive curators have added to Wrigley’s legacy.

There are 20th century paintings by artists such as Victor Pasmore and Edward Burra, and a growing selection of contemporary artists including Janice Kerbel, Lawrence Weiner and Samson Kambalu.

The council’s planning application, dated February 15, said: “The condition issues are placing both the aesthetic significance, through visible damage to primary façades and areas and historic significance, through physical fabric loss, at risk.

“In addition, increased water ingress poses a risk to the artwork housed inside the museum.

“The museum was built to display the collection, and therefore the building and the collection share a greater significance when assessed as a whole.

“These urgent works are required to ensure that the collection can be safely displayed at the museum in the future without risk of damage.”

A design and access report in support of the plans detailed numerous issues with the roof, rainwater pipes and and external elevations.

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Bury Art Gallery

Bury Art Gallery

The report said areas affected by water coming in included the primary first floor galleries, the art shop and staircase.

Leaks have also affected the staff room, kitchenette, offices and archive store and there is a crack in the  beams in the café area.

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The report said : “There is currently no access to the roof void above the sculpture gallery and elsewhere.

“This must be addressed as soon as possible to allow inspection and maintenance.

“The water ingress around the pavement lights to the basement should be addressed.

“In the first instance the material stored beneath the leaking areas should be moved to prevent deterioration.”

The listed building consent for the urgent repair works will be considered by the council’s planning department in the coming weeks.