Wolverhampton Art Gallery has launched a new community project to enhance its arts educational offer after securing £60,000 in funding.

‘Making Space’ is about reimagining an exhibition space in the city centre gallery for collaboration, creativity and cohesion. 

Art gallery staff will work with schools, community groups, artists, families, young creatives and visitors to create an environment that provides a welcoming place for anyone in the city to come and use.

This could involve a new look, practical set up, accessibility features and technology - but the final outcome will be decided by people who engage during the project.

The Art Fund has granted the gallery £40,000 towards the project as part of its ‘Reimagine’ funding that enables organisations to look at new ways of working post Covid. 

Additional grants of £5,000 from National Portfolio Funding and £15,000 from the Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund have been secured.

The project will run initially from April to December 2022 and the findings will be used to inform future project planning and funding bids.

City of Wolverhampton Council Director of Communications and Visitor Experience, Ian Fegan, said: “The art gallery’s collections will act as the creative catalyst for reimaging the space and we will ensure the unique selling points of our newly-refurbished gallery and its nationally significant collections are opened up further to our audiences through this work. 

“Whether the outcome involves giving local people a platform, a sanctuary, an ideas lab or a classroom, we want this project to enable them to lead the way in this new chapter of the art gallery’s life.”

The Art Fund was founded in 1903 and is the national fundraising charity for art. It supports museums and galleries across the UK to acquire new works for collections, to preserve heritage and to develop engagement programmes.