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£3.5 million lottery transformation for York Art Gallery

  • Date: 14 December 2012
  • Area: North
inside of a building

An artist’s impression of the interior of the redeveloped York Art Gallery. Credit: Ushida Findlay architects

York Art Gallery will undergo a transformation over the next two years thanks to £3.5 million of lottery investment from Arts Council England.

Preparation for the £8 million development will start in early 2013 and will create 60 per cent more exhibition space and establish a Centre for British Studio Ceramics.

The development will also create a suite of three ground floor galleries to show more ambitious and high profile exhibitions, double the existing learning space and will include a new sculpture garden, which will link to the existing York Museum Gardens.

A newly built first floor South Gallery and a new gallery in the original Victorian roof space will become the home for the gallery's nationally important ceramic collections.

Further grants from the Foyle Foundation, Sir Siegmund Warburg's Voluntary Settlement and a donation of £40,000 from Shepherd Group have also been pledged in the last few weeks. With other grants and a private legacy the total funds raised now stand at £7 million, with York Museums Trust, who run the gallery, working to secure the rest of the funding from various funding bodies and organisations.

York Art Gallery will close on December 31 this year to prepare for the development which will start later in the year. It is set to reopen in Easter 2015.

Janet Barnes, Chief Executive of York Museums Trust, said: "We are delighted that the Arts Council has confirmed their £3.5 million lottery grant for the Gallery's development and it is fantastic that the Sir Siegmund Warburg's Voluntary Settlement, Shepherd Group and The Foyle Foundation have shown their faith in our plans by pledging further funds. Without such funding the development would not have been possible on the scale we believe is necessary to transform the gallery into one of the best in the country."

Cluny Macpherson, Regional Director of the Arts Council in Yorkshire, said: "York attracts cultural tourists from across the UK and the rest of the globe. This £3.5 million lottery investment in York Art Gallery will enrich York's offer and create a fantastic contemporary visual arts space for the people of Yorkshire and visitors from further afield, hosting ambitious contemporary exhibition programmes as well as the new Centre for British Studio Ceramics.

"This project will help audiences and artists enjoy great contemporary art in a visitor-friendly, upgraded historic building in the heart of the city. I can't wait to come and see it for myself."

Patrick Shepherd, Deputy Chairman, Shepherd Group, said: "Shepherd Group is delighted to support York Museums Trust in this imaginative scheme to extend and enhance the exhibition space in York Art Gallery. The Trust has already done much, on tight budgets, to provide a more attractive and accessible cultural offering to York's residents and visitors alike. York Art Gallery is already one of the best in the region and will be a real showpiece after completion of this ingenious extension and revitalisation of the gallery space."