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Work starts on transforming Swansea's Glynn Vivian Art Gallery
MAJOR work on transforming Swansea’s Glynn Vivian Art Gallery into a top visitor attraction will start next week.
Scaffolding will go up as contractors start work on the building’s 1970s wing.
A new entrance and shop into the 1970s wing forms part of the £6 million scheme. Refurbishment also includes the conservation of the 1911 gallery, a new passenger lift, more space for displays and exhibitions, a new lecture space and community room, a new welcome area for learning programmes, and a dedicated library and archive.
Scaffolding and the need to access services means three trees on Alexandra Road will be taken down. Discussions are ongoing about replacing the trees in future.
It's expected the gallery will re-open in the autumn of 2014. The building is temporarily closed but an extensive programme of off-site activities and workshops is ongoing at the YMCA in Swansea.
Cllr Nick Bradley, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “This project will reinforce Swansea’s reputation as a leading city of culture. Refurbishment will lead to an art gallery that’s in keeping with the needs of 21st Century visitors while conserving one of Swansea’s most treasured historic buildings.
“A lot of work has been ongoing behind the scenes in preparation for the start of structural works. This included building survey works, appointing a contractor and going through the vast collection of artwork to document and pack each and every piece.
“Scaffolding is a sign of tangible progress for a project that will ensure Swansea will have an exciting new space for the Welsh arts community.”
The refurbishment project is being funded by the Welsh Government, including £550,000 from the Swansea Regeneration vzbhi Area programme, the Arts Council of Wales and Swansea Council. Money has also been secured through the Building Enhancement Programme grant scheme run by Swansea Council and funded by European Regional Development Fund.
The gallery is also supported by a £576,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a learning and participation programme relating to the original Richard Glynn Vivian bequest.
This will take place off-site but there'll also be new displays when the gallery re-opens.
The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery is a Grade II* Listed Building that dates back to 1911. Have a look at http://www.swansea.gov.uk/