PLANS to redevelop York Art Gallery have been given a boost after it was confirmed the project has received a £3.5m grant and work is now due to get under way in the New Year.
The grant from the National Lottery through the Arts Council has been confirmed for the £8m development and takes the amount raised for the project to £7m, with York Museums Trust, which runs the gallery, working to secure the rest of the funding from various organisations.
York Art Gallery will close on December 31 this year to prepare for the development which will start early in 2013. 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 £3.5m lottery grant for the gallery’s development.”
When finished, the development of York Art Gallery will create 60 per cent more exhibition space and will also enable it to establish a Centre for British Studio Ceramics.
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 £3.5m 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.”
The development will also create a suite of three ground floor galleries to show more high-profile exhibitions, the creation of double the existing learning space and a new sculpture garden, linking 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.