The University of Leicester plans to provide a new home for contemporary visual art within a new galleries wing, at its inclusive multi-use arts centre, Embrace Arts. The £1.5 million scheme will be an extension of The Richard Attenborough centre, on Lancaster Road in Leicester.
GSSArchitecture were appointed as a result of an architectural competition to develop the design through to the delivery of the project. The new wing will increase the size of the arts buildings on the site by 50%, creating a series of interlinked spaces which will be open to the public.
GSSArchitecture Partner, Tom Lyons, explained, “We are delighted to be involved in this exciting development which will create a range of high quality gallery space, to showcase contemporary visual art together with artist studio space for the city of Leicester.” Michalea Butter, co-director of EmbraceArts, said, “We look forward to working with GSSArchitecture to create a national centre of excellence for inclusive arts practice in Leicester, to be enjoyed by local people and visitors to the city alike.”
The scheme is located on the University of Leicester city campus and is programmed for an official opening in early 2015. Arts Council England has agreed to provide £600,000 towards the capital costs of the project, subject to the balance being raised by November 2013. An urgent fundraising
appeal is underway to raise the remaining £900,000.
The Richard Attenborough centre was the result of a campaign championed and led by Lord Attenborough. One of only two purpose-built accessible arts centres in the East Midlands for the promotion of arts and disability, it is a winner of a Royal Institute of British Architects’ award for Arts and Health, and cited as “an outstanding example of universal design” on the English Heritage’s Disability in Time and Place website. The new development will similarly
be fully accessible and use the latest in technology, enabling disabled and non-disabled audiences to enjoy the very best of the contemporary arts in new and exciting ways.