Work will start next week on Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s improvements programme.
The Sensing Sculpture room will be closed from Wednesday, January 10 as first-floor redevelopment – funded by external grants – gets underway.
It will be transformed into an exhibition space that will welcome larger touring exhibitions and workshops, allow for items from collections to be on display, and improve the hire of the venue.
For example, the popular Lichfield Street gallery has been able to host part of the Natural History Museum’s World Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition in recent years – and the new gallery space will now allow it to display the whole exhibition.
The new gallery space is expected to open in March.
A limited number of items from the Sensing Sculpture room will be on display elsewhere in the gallery throughout the works.
Councillor John Reynolds, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “Thanks to successful bids for external grants we are able to carry out these major improvements, which will enhance the visitor experience and allow the gallery to be used to its full potential in the future.
“We apologise for any disruption or inconvenience caused to visitors during these works.
“The gallery is a historic building which has a place in many people’s hearts and we want to make these improvements to ensure it continues to be a much-loved asset for the people of Wolverhampton.”
The next phase of the improvements on the gallery will see the café moved to the ground floor, alongside a new kitchen area and education space.
It is anticipated this work will commence in spring.
The improvements programme is being funded by a £431,723 Arts Council England small capital grant in addition to £750,000 of borrowing from the council’s capital budget – which will be paid back by income generated from the new café – and a £65,000 grant from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport’s Wolfson Gallery Improvement Fund.