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Arts project to 'uncover' Belfast's historic rivers

A new arts scheme – backed by

Belfast City Council – is set to "uncover" some of the hidden rivers that helped to shape the city. Resounding Rivers will see artist Matt Green project sound into the city's streets to provide the Blackstaff and Farset rivers with a "renewed presence", as well as the reshaped Lagan. Green – a sound artist based at the Sonic Arts Research Centre – has been commissioned by PLACE, the Architecture and Built Environment Centre for Northern Ireland, for the scheme.

RSC nears £112.8m theatre appeal target

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has revealed that it needs a further £5.5m to reach its Transforming Our Theatres fundraising target. More than £107m has already been raised through the RSC's £112.8m appeal, which was launched to help fund the creation of a new home for the organisation in Stratford-upon- Avon. A new film trailer has been unveiled by the RSC in an attempt to raise the remaining £5.5m, which will go towards a scheme to revamp the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

Council approves Hackney Empire plans

Hackney Council have

approved plans for a scheme adjacent to the Hackney Empire that aims to safeguard the historic venue. London-based Thornsett Group is leading the Wilton Way project, which includes the demolition of office facilities and the construction of a new building. Plans include 425sq m (4,575sq ft) of flexible space to be used for community activities linked with the Empire, including a 46sq m (495sq ft) café and reception area.


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Arts venue opens after £15m revamp

Purpose-built exhibition space among improved facilities at Birmingham complex

By Pete Hayman

A Birmingham arts venue has reopened after closing for two years to enable a major £15m renovation to be carried out. Work at the Midlands Arts

Centre (mac) has included the creation of the Gallery, the venue's first purpose-built exhibition space, as well as refurbished visual arts, crafts and performing arts studios. A new visual arts education

suite and an audio and visual media studio capable of transmitting to other parts of the centre are also among the mac's new facilities. The centre has been working

on the scheme in partnership with a local south Asian arts company – sampad – which

mac closed for two years to allow the renovation to be carried out

promotes work from countries such as India and Sri Lanka. Improved access, upgraded

seating and lighting and a larger café have also formed part of the renovation, which was funded by Birmingham City Council and other sources.

mac chief executive and

artistic director Dorothy Wilson said: "Over the last two years, the one element that's been missing from mac has been the people, and it's wonderful at the end of a project like this to see mac brought back to life."

New cultural trust to manage Peterborough sites

By Pete Hayman

A new trust has taken over the management of a number of culture and leisure venues owned by Peterborough City Council (PCC) as part of a new 25-year deal, which came into effect on 1 May. Trust officials launched the

new 'Vivacity' brand in a bid to encourage more people to use the facilities, which include sports centres, the Key Theatre and Peterborough Museum.

The Key Theatre is among the venues now run by the trust

The trust is applying for

charitable status that will exclude it from business rates

been transferred into the new trust, with employment and pension conditions set to be protected under Transfer of Undertakings regulations. Trust chair Shelagh Smith

said: "Recent reports indicate that many councils expect budget cuts in discretionary services such as libraries and sports facilities."

Mark Taylor, commercial and venues director at the Barbican arts complex in London, has been appointed chief executive of Wales Millennium Centre (WMC) in Cardiff. Taylor will take up the position in August

after his appointment was confirmed by the WMC chair, Lord Rowe-Beddoe, on 21 April.

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Barbican director to lead Cardiff's Millennium Centre

Since joining the Barbican as commercial

director in 1996, Taylor helped increase the venue's average commercial net income from £2.3m a year to £4.4m in 2008-9. Taylor said: "Wales Millennium Centre sits at

the heart of bringing the world to Wales and taking Wales to the world."

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