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Irish arts minister launches Culture Night programme

Irish arts minister Jimmy Deenihan has launched this year’s programme for Culture Night – a nationwide project designed to increase access to the arts. First held in 2006, Culture Night is based

on similar events across Europe called White Nights - where buildings are lit up for the evening of the event. Culture Night 2012 will see cultural

organisations across Ireland extend open- ing hours and remove entry charges, with 34 locations participating this year. Details:

Overhaul for Plymouth theatre

Detailed plans drawn up by Andrzej Blonski Architects for the £7m redevelopment of the Teatre Royal in Plymouth have been revealed. Te redevelopment will see

the re-cladding of the build- ing which will improve energy efficiency by up to 40 per cent; an extension to the front of the building allowing level access; and a new box office, shop and café area. Tere will also be an out-

door terrace area and an extended restaurant, and a new studio space within the theatre basement which will provide a city cen- tre location for work with young people and community groups. According to chief executive Adrian Vinken,

the project is now resting on the theatre’s abil- ity to find the funding for the works. He said: “Our aim is to modernise and make major

Te scheme looks to transform the South Bank

Councils to extend South Bank’s ‘cultural spine’

Plans to extend the “cultural spine” of London’s South Bank through to Battersea Power Station have been announced by Wandsworth and Lambeth Councils. Te authorities are working to appoint a

cultural placemaking consultancy to ensure the Nine Elms area capitalises on its poten- tial as a centre for arts and culture. It forms part of the multi-billion pound

plans to transform the former industrial Nine Elms area, which is one of the largest regeneration sites in central London. Details:

Turner Contemporary/ Aspex in Dickens venture

Margate’s Turner Contemporary and Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth have joined forces on Our Mutual Friends – an online project based on Charles Dickens’s novel. Te project presents four newly commis-

sioned online artworks and aims to connect the contemporary phenomenon of social media with the legacy of Dickens. Our Mutual Friends mobilises Facebook,

Twitter and other social networking sites to consider Dickens’s satire on society, celeb- rity and the superficiality of friendships. Details:

10 Te theatre is set to undergo a £12m redevelopment of its facilities

improvements to the Teatre Royal to ensure it remains Plymouth’s cultural centre of excel- lence for the next 50 years. “Our ability to realise this vision will depend

on whether we are able to raise the necessary scale of funding.” Details:

Milestone for Newbridge Memorial Hall restoration

A topping out ceremony has been held to mark the latest milestone in the £5.6m restoration of Newbridge Memorial Hall. Seddon Construction commenced work

on the overhaul in January, with Alwyn Jones Architects behind the design the restoration

of the Grade II*-listed ‘Memo’ and the adjoin- ing Grade II-listed Institute. Both buildings were built with contributions

from local miners, with the Institute opening in 1908 and the Memo opening in 1924. Details:

ACE announces £1.2m of touring funding

Arts Council England (ACE) has awarded more than £1.2m of grants to 11 organisations in the third round of its Strategic touring programme. The initiative aims to

increase arts access across the country, particularly in areas where engagement levels are currently low and where there is a reliance on touring. ACE is currently halfway

through the inaugural year of the Strategic touring fund, which has seen more than £5.7m distributed to arts organisations out of the total £15m allocated for the year. Among the successful applicants in the third

round is a nationwide tour of artistic work by dead and disabled artists led by DaDa, as well as a workshop fronted by Home Live Art.

Read Leisure Opportunities online: ACE is currently halfway through the inaugural year of the touring fund An ACE spokesperson said: “It aims to

facilitate stronger relationships between arts organisations with local promoters, who are on the ‘supply’ and ‘demand’ side of touring.” Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2012

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