Bespoke Security for MK Gallery: A Case Study

Charter Global’s involvement with the most ambitious gallery of 2019: MK Gallery

Charter Global have secured galleries and properties of high value across the UK for many years.

One of the most bespoke projects of recent years, MK Gallery is an ambitious gallery set to open this March.

The incredibly impressive new public gallery was designed by 6a Architects, and the stunning building has completely rejuvenated Milton Keynes’ landscape.

MK Gallery is the most recent regeneration project to specify minimum LPS 1175 Issue 7: SR4.

Charter Global were approached during the early stages to provide a high-security solution in the form of SR4 shutters.

The high specification was one of the GIS general conditions, as part of the gallery’s support from Arts Council England.

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Government Indemnity Scheme, or GIS, is a scheme from Arts Council Eng that offers an alternative to the cost of commercial insurance.

GIS has run successfully for a number of years. It allows organisations to display art & cultural objects that might not otherwise have been shown due to the high cost of insurance.

MK Gallery is one institution to have benefited from the scheme in recent years, though the hefty security requirements made for a complicated project timeline.

Museums, galleries, libraries and other cultural bodies such as the National Trust all benefit from GIS. Find out more about it here.

Physical security is a major part of GIS with the borrower taking on all of the risk.

The decision makers for MK Gallery therefore had to enhance the building against all and any credible threats.

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The £12m exhibition space now features no less than five galleries, an auditorium for up to 200 people, a learning studio and an independent cafe. All of which made for a tricky installation.

There are a number of manufacturers offering quality security shutters to LPS 1175 Issue 7 SR4.

However, the exhibition loading area required an abnormally large shutter but lacked the headroom to support a standard motor.

Devising a unique system with a bespoke motor specification, an Obexion MD SR4 Shutter was installed.

Ultimax controls were incorporated along with other complex features, such as status indication. This was mainly led by the requirement from the facilities team.


Status indication, in a nutshell, is remote confirmation of opening and closure. As the loading area was located on the other side of the gallery to the security reception, this mitigated the risk of internal sabotage.

Two further security roller shutters were provided for the personnel fire escape to and from the bright feature fire exit staircase.

Both also certified to LPS 1175 Issue 7 SR4, these heavy-duty pieces of machinery were connected to the fire alarm interface with battery backups.

With how bespoke the shutters are, regular maintenance is vital – a service Charter Global are providing the gallery through a TOTALCARE service contact.

With an ambitious future exhibition programme, MK Gallery is set to open with an exhibition featuring the works of 85 artists.

The gallery will be open to the public following the ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 11 am on Saturday 16th March.