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Whitworth gets its crowning glory

22 Nov 2013

Topping out ceremony puts roof on £15m gallery redevelopment

Artist's impression of redevelopment

The roof is now on the stunning new extension and major redevelopment of Whitworth Art Gallery after a “topping out” ceremony.

The gallery is set to re-open in autumn 2014, following a £15 million transformation supported by a major Heritage Lottery Fund grant as well as the University and other funders.

This will reconnect the Gallery with the surrounding Whitworth Park, double the public space and create state-of-the-art new facilities for visitors including expanded gallery spaces, a learning studio, study centre, collections access zone, an art garden and a beautiful café nestling amongst the trees in the park.

Originally built in 1889, the Gallery was conceived as the first English gallery in a park but this important connection with the surrounding environment has been lost. The redevelopment will recover this connection and increase the space to cope with visitor figures, which have risen to around 180,000 annually in recent years.

An additional £1.8m grant has been agreed by Arts Council England to complete the reorganisation and refurbishment of the existing 19th century building, which will reveal previously hidden architectural details, create a new partly accessible Collection storage area, an improved space for the shop and a new entrance.