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Latest on York Art Gallery revamp
PROGRESS on the £8 million revamp of York Art Gallery has been outlined to residents as the transformation of one of the city’s cultural jewels prepares to move to the next stage.
The Exhibition Square gallery will reopen at Easter 2015, after shutting at the end of last year for a sweeping redevelopment including a new gallery in a “secret” room within its Victorian roof space, increasing its display space by more than 60 per cent.
The project will also see the gallery expand into rooms which previously housed the city archives, allowing major national and international exhibitions to be displayed there, with a new entrance at the back of the building leading to a new link into the Museum Gardens.
Plans are being drawn up to use part of this space as an “artists’ garden”.
The work has been supported by £3.5 million in Lottery funding, a £2 million private legacy and contributions from a string of other funders.
Visitors to a free public event last night at the Hospitium, in the Museum Gardens, were given an update on the scheme and also heard artist Mark Hearld reveal his ideas for its opening exhibition in 2015.
Gallery manager Lorna Sergeant said the gallery building had now been completely “gutted”, with more than 213 tonnes of material being recycled.
The main contractors for the work are set to be appointed this month, with the next phase of work on the site beginning in November.
Ms Sergeant said: “The gallery has already changed beyond recognition since closing, and the work done so far has shown the Victorians built very well!
“We have not had any nasty surprises and the team have been fantastic. Having fully air-conditioned and completely secure new galleries will mean we can adhere to insurance requirements and have some really exciting collections on loan, to complement our own collections.”
Last night’s event also included tours of previously closed-off sections of the Museum Gardens which will be opened up through the scheme, talks from other key figures in the development and information on the gallery’s volunteers programme.
More details of the scheme are at yorkartgallery.co.uk
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