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Project Space Leeds to open new visual arts centre with investment from Carlsberg UK and the Arts Council

  • Date: 22 March 2013
  • Area: North
large building

The Tetley. Credit: Stephen Iles

A four-storey former headquarters building on Carlsberg UK’s brewery site in Leeds is to be transformed into a new centre for contemporary art and learning called The Tetley. Scheduled to open in autumn 2013, the centre has been funded by an innovative programme of private and public investment and will be operated and curated by Project Space Leeds (PSL).

The Arts Council has awarded a grant of £225,500 from its Capital investment programme towards the redevelopment. As well as acting as PSL’s landlord for the building, Carlsberg UK are also making a significant investment into the site. Their investment so far has renovated the fabric of the building itself and funded an internal strip-out which has revealed the stunning original 1930s atrium for the first time in over half a century.

Kerry Harker, Director, Project Space Leeds, said: ‘The Arts Council’s funding, added to the tremendous support we have had from Carlsberg UK, puts us on a more sustainable footing which means that we can focus our efforts on creating a centre of excellence for contemporary visual art. We want it to be a first class resource for local people and an important attraction for students and visitors to Leeds.’

The finished building will have high-quality showing, learning and resource spaces on the first and second floors, and rentable workspaces for the creative industries on the third floor. The centre will create opportunities for artists based in the city and region to develop and show work that will appeal to a wide range of audiences, and artists will be commissioned to create new work as part of the capital refurbishment.

PSL will also look after the Tetley archive and the redevelopment will preserve heritage features such as the original boardroom and war memorials in the building. Work to convert the stunning 1930s building into an inspiring space that is fit for public use began in September 2012, including the refurbishment of the stunning period glass roof and addition of new exterior stairs and a lift.

Benet Slay, CEO, Carlsberg UK said, ‘We are pleased to have found such a great use for the building and are delighted to share it with the community of Leeds. The programme will include modernising and improving access to the building and, at the same time, restoring some of the original features, including the central atrium. We are proud that it reflects the history of the building and has a brand image that echoes its art deco styling.’

Cluny Macpherson, Regional Director, Arts Council England
‘Project Space Leeds’ plan for a contemporary visual arts centre in the iconic Tetley Brewery is exciting for Leeds and is an excellent example of how the private and public sector can come together to help significant developments in the arts. I am looking forward to seeing it develop into a significant hub for the visual arts and welcoming visitors, artists and people living in Leeds.’

Details of the exhibitions programme, commissions and events will be announced in spring 2013.