Gallery to open in renovated home next to station

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A new photography and film gallery is due to open later this month.

Aireside House, in Aire Street next to Leeds railway station, is being transformed into a home for White Cloth Gallery, a new exhibition space for both new and established photographers and artists.

The gallery is the brainchild of creative directors Peter Dench and Sharon Price, in association with Regeneration through The Arts and property asset managers Vektor Investments.

It is part of a wider urban renewal programme to build cultural communities and will host regular events including workshops, seminars, and screenings.

Vektor Investments, which is part of the Emco group, works closely with local authorities and is responsible for the regeneration of a number of sites across Leeds, including the restoration of the oldest building in the city, the grade two listed First White Cloth Hall.

Mr Dench, a London-based photographer said: “I come into contact with a lot of photographers and there is a lot of great work out there. I thought there was demand for more local galleries to keep as many exhibitions on the road as possible.”

He added: “I see Leeds as an important cultural development in the UK and the South’s friend in the North. I looked at a few properties but people investing in the project suggested Aireside House.”

The exhibitions will work on a six-week rotation.

Mr Dench said: “We want to bring fantastic quality photography and film into the space and hopefully that will draw people in.”

The building, which is being refurbished now, will include two galleries. A catering facility is also planned for the site.

The first exhibition, which features pictures from the lives of London’s gangsters, taken by photographer Jocelyn Bain Hogg, will open on April 19.

A spokesperson said: “The gallery is a pioneering development on the Leeds cultural scene, with a unique vision to forge a socially aware and progressive approach to photography and culture.

“Supporting the artistic community, encouraging creativity and working alongside other local art organisations, White Cloth Gallery aims to aid the region’s development as a go-to destination for art lovers everywhere.”

Mr Dench added: “We wanted our opening to be a true exemplar of the types of work we wish to exhibit and we believe Jocelyn’s extraordinary photography does just that.

“It’s our intention that the White Cloth Gallery will be a popular space where the work of established artists such as Jocelyn, will be exhibited alongside upcoming local talent, aiding Yorkshire’s burgeoning development as a region of arts and culture.”