Manchester

Whitworth Art Gallery gets £8m to double public space

An artist's impression of the new Whitworth Art Gallery extension
Image caption New wings will flank an art garden and new entrance to the Whitworth Art Gallery

A proposal to double the size of Manchester's Whitworth Art Gallery is to go ahead after it received a grant of £8m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The extension, which is to cost £12m in total, will see two new sections built at the rear of the building.

The plan will also see the creation of three large exhibition spaces and a promenade gallery.

Gallery director Maria Balshaw said the grant would "enable us to make our vision for the Whitworth a reality".

Inside the gallery, the new North Wing will house a landscape gallery and study centre, while the South Wing will host a new cafe and learning studio.

There will also be renovations to the existing building, including the opening up of the existing Edwardian staircases.

Outside, there will also be changes, as an art garden and new main entrance will be created.

Image caption The new extension will see the main entrance move to the back of the building

Ms Balshaw said the gallery staff "are delighted to have this investment, which will enable us to make our vision for the Whitworth a reality".

"We've been developing our plans for over three years and can't wait to start on the real thing," she said.

"The project will create a gallery that's truly fit for the 21st Century and which we know our visitors are going to love."

The gallery, which forms part of the University of Manchester, has become increasingly successful over the last five years, doubling annual visitor numbers in the period to around 170,000 per year.

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