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Arts & Culture Arts complex to open in Colchester

firstsite, a Colchester-based visual arts organisation, has revealed that its new Rafael Viñoly Architects-designed home is to open its doors to the public on 25 September. An exhibition inspired by

Colchester’s status as one of the UK’s oldest towns – Camulodunum – will help mark the launch of the 3,200sq m (34,445sq ſt) complex. Built at a cost of £28m, the

new building will include flexible presentation spaces for visual art exhibitions; art- ists’ spaces for project work; learning studios; and a 190-seat auditorium. A daytime café/nighttime restaurant with terrace overlooking a new public park; a shop; and meeting facilities will also be on offer. Funding partners for the development of

the new venue include Colchester Borough Council (CBC); Essex County Council; Arts

Rafael Viñoly Architects are behind the design for firstsite’s new venue

Council England; and the University of Essex. Te East of England Development Agency has also contributed towards the project. CBC portfolio holder for resources and ICT

Paul Smith said: “Colchester’s new landmark building for the visual arts will be a commu- nity hub for our town, county and region.”

Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery to move

Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery (SMAG) has started preparations for its relocation to the Shropshire town’s old Music Hall from its existing Barker Street home in late 2012. A restoration project is currently underway to preserve the buildings behind the façade of

the Music Hall, with the new attraction to open its doors to the public in early 2013. Shropshire Council’s Mike Owen said:

“People are working extremely hard to restore the old Music Hall, ready for the museum’s move to its new home later next year.”

Design accolade for Oriel Mostyn Gallery

Oriel Mostyn Gallery, which has been designed by Ellis Williams Architects, has received the Gold Medal for Architecture at the Wrexham and District 2011 National Eisteddfod of Wales. The contemporary art

attraction in Llandudno, North Wales, underwent an extensive revamp that led to the addition of two galleries at the Grade II-listed property. Te award is sponsored by

the Design Commission for Wales and is run in conjunc- tion with the Royal Society of Architects in Wales. Meanwhile, Alfredo Cramerotti – currently

Te renovation of the gallery was designed by Ellis Williams Architects Cramerotti will take up the position in

the senior director at QUAD, Centre of Art, Media and Film in Derby – has been named director of the contemporary art gallery.


September to succeed Martin Barlow, who oversaw the major £5.1m redevelopment and expansion of the publicly-funded attraction.

Twitter: @leisureopps Abbey Teatre in Dublin is among the recipients

Arts Council Ireland confirms touring grants

Arts Council Ireland has revealed that more than €1.2m (£1m) worth of additional fund- ing is to be made available to enable nearly 40 organisations to tour their work. More than 40 towns, villages and cities

across Ireland will benefit from the host- ing of concerts, plays and performances as a result of the funding announcement. Among the organisations to benefit are

the National Chamber Choir, the Abbey Teatre and Town Hall Teatre Galway, along with the Druid Teatre Company and the Irish Writers’ Centre.

New innovation fund for NI creative industries

Northern Ireland arts minister Carál Ní Chuilín has unveiled a new Creative Industries Innovation Fund, which will rec- ognise the sector’s potential for growth. Te Department of Culture, Arts and

Leisure is poised to invest £4m over the coming four years to support the sec- tor, with grants made through the Arts Council-administered fund. In the first round of funding, the focus

will be on digital content projects and fea- tures businesses involved in internet and mobile content, as well as animation.

Read Leisure Opportunities online: 9

UW agrees to lease Dylan Thomas Centre

Te University of Wales (UW) has agreed to lease Swansea’s Dylan Tomas Centre from the local authority in a deal that secures the future of the attraction. A partnership between Swansea Council

and UW will see an exhibition dedicated to the Welsh poet remain at the site, while the centre will also retain its current name. Te Maritime Quarter facility will also

become home to the University of Wales Dylan Tomas Prize as part of the agree- ment, which is subject to the completion of legal details now under discussion.

image: bjaglin

image: martin lyons

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