York Art Gallery £8m refurbishment to begin in new year

Artists impression of new gallery in the roof space. Picture courtesy of Ushida Findlay The gallery's hidden roof space will be used to create new exhibition areas

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York Art Gallery is to close to the public on 31 December for a £7.6m refurbishment.

The York Museums Trust, which runs the gallery, said it had now secured £7m of funding towards the scheme.

A spokesman for the trust said it was confident it would raise a further £600,000 needed to complete the scheme.

Funded by donations and grants, the plan will take more than two years to complete and will expand the gallery's display space by almost 60%.

The additional space will enable the gallery to show more ambitious and high profile exhibitions, the trust added.

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.

Explore the collection

  • York Art Gallery opened in its current building, in the grounds of St Mary's Abbey, in 1892
  • Experts say the collection is exceptional for the range, quality and interest of its paintings, which span 600 years of history
  • York's best known artist is William Etty. His work on biblical and historical subjects, portraits, still life and landscapes is well-represented

Source: BBC Your Paintings

The largest financial contribution towards the the scheme is £3.5m from the Arts Council England.

Cluny Macpherson, regional director of the Arts Council, said: "York attracts cultural tourists from across the UK and the rest of the globe.

"This £3.5 million lottery investment will enrich York's offer and create a fantastic contemporary visual arts space for the people of Yorkshire and visitors from further afield."

The remainder of the funding includes an anonymous legacy of £2m and donations from local businesses.

Janet Barnes, chief executive of York Museums Trust, said: "Without such funding the development would not have been possible on the scale we believe is necessary to transform the gallery into one of the best in the country."

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