The Lottery Grants Board donation of $6 million to the Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment project is the full amount the gallery asked for, director Greg Anderson says.

"It's wonderful when a grant body comes up with everything you ask for."

That large chunk of funding announced on Thursday makes it all but certain the remaining $3 million for the $35 million project will be raised. Mr Anderson said private individuals and trusts would be targeted for the remaining money - and they would now have full confidence in the project.

"We have proven that we can achieve the things we've set out to do. We have managed to make a considerable amount of money by sticking to our schedule of revenue."

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The application to the Lottery Board took weeks to put together, and Marie McKay was asked to help because she has experience with large funding applications.

Mr Anderson said gallery staff pulled the necessary information together and Ms McKay collated and firmed it up. She works for Te Puni Kokiri/ the Ministry of Maori Development, and her managers gave her time to contribute.

The redevelopment project will double the size of Whanganui's art gallery, adding a new Sir Archie Te Atawhai Taiaroa wing to the north. The building project received resource consent in August 2014, Mr Anderson said.

The existing building is clad in Oamaru stone and has a Category 1 classification with Heritage New Zealand. It only has five per cent of the earthquake strength required in new buildings.

Over five years its $28.8 million collection was moved to another building, at a cost of $2.68 million, mainly paid by Whanganui District Council.

The council is also contributing $5 million to the redevelopment project, and is underwriting any shortfall.

Private individuals and trusts have pledged $11 million toward the project, and Government is to give $10 million if the $35 million total is reached by December 20.