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Heritage Lottery Fund green light for Hatton Gallery re-development plans


An ambitious £3.5 million project to revitalise Newcastle’s Hatton Gallery has received a significant boost today, with initial support*, including £154,000 development funding, from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The project involves conserving the gallery’s historic and architectural elements, while creating a vibrant and modern exhibition space that will help bring about a new era for art exhibitions and learning in the city.

Plans include better interpretation of the iconic Schwitters Merzbarn Wall; improved lighting to bring the gallery up to industry standards; a dedicated learning space; and rebuilding the picture store to ensure its extensive collection is preserved for future generations.

Newcastle University, in partnership with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, will now develop the project and submit a second round application at a later date.

Ivor Crowther, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said: “HLF’s initial support means the Hatton Gallery can get exciting plans underway that will cement the Gallery’s status as a major cultural and heritage resource in the North East.

“Based in the architecturally impressive listed Edwardian building, the gallery will be transformed into a vibrant public space where visitors from near and far can learn about and enjoy the varied and nationally important collections and take part in the myriad of activities and training opportunities that will be on offer. The partnership between Newcastle University and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums is a strong one and we know that they will make these plans a reality over the coming months.”

Eric Cross, Dean of Cultural Affairs at Newcastle University, said: “The Hatton offers a distinctive atmosphere and sense of place, which embodies the University’s civic pride and provides visitors with a unique cultural experience. This project will offer new and exciting opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy and engage with historical and contemporary art.”

?Iain Watson, Director, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums added: “This is fantastic news for the Hatton Gallery, which has been an important part of the arts and cultural scene in Newcastle for over 90 years. The capital work will make the Hatton a better place to visit and investment in the programme will help position the gallery as a distinctive cultural venue, enabling it to fulfil its potential as a cultural, heritage and educative force regionally, nationally and internationally.”?

The Hatton has a dynamic and illustrious history, thanks to its status as part of Newcastle University’s Fine Art department. With a reputation as one of the most progressive art schools in Britain, its teaching staff during the 1950s and 60s included pop-art pioneer, Richard Hamilton, and leading British abstract artist, Victor Pasmore.

The Gallery is home to several iconic artworks and has a strong and coherent collection of twentieth-century British art. Artists represented include Pasmore, Hamilton, Bacon, Lough, Bewick and Goya.

There is now an urgent need to update the gallery spaces and bring the Hatton into the 21st century, creating a space for artists and the general public to use and enjoy for years to come.

Hatton Future

The Heritage Lottery Fund’s support provides a significant boost to the £3.5million project and to help raise vital partnership funding the Gallery has also launched a public fundraising campaign, ‘Hatton Future’.   

Hatton Future aims to raise funds from private donations to revitalise the gallery with a particular focus on the art collection and exhibition programme – enabling more people to enjoy great art and showcasing Newcastle’s bright new talent.

With help from Arts Council England’s Catalyst Arts scheme, for a limited period every £1 donated to Hatton Future will be matched.  This means that a £100 gift, with Gift Aid, will be worth £225 to the Hatton Gallery.  

People who donate £50 or more will receive a limited edition Victor Pasmore print, which has been specially produced for this campaign. The British artist and architect pioneered the development of abstract art in Britain in the 1940s and 50s and worked in the Fine Art Department at Newcastle University, exhibiting at the Hatton Gallery during the 1950s and 60s. ?

At an event to mark the launch of the Hatton Future Campaign, held in November 2013, Pasmore’s son, John, donated two of his father’s original prints to the University with the express wish that the proceeds from the sale go to the campaign. These prints - Harmony of Opposites and Punto di Contatto (lots 143 and 155 respectively) are due to be auctioned at Christie’s in London on 16 April.

?North East musician and graduate Bryan Ferry CBE is Patron of the Hatton Future campaign, which is also backed by Sir Nicholas Serota, director of Tate in London. “My four years at Newcastle University Fine Art Department were crucial in my development as an artist and musician,” said Mr Ferry. “While I was there, studying under Richard Hamilton, I met many like-minded students who became friends for life.” 

The Hatton Gallery is managed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums - who have also just received another HLF grant this week for the Wor Life 1914-18  project - on behalf of Newcastle University.

?About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported almost 36,000 projects with more than £6bn across the UK. 

*A first-round pass/initial support means the project meets HLF criteria for funding and HLF believes the project has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so a first-round pass is an endorsement of outline proposals. Having been awarded a first-round pass, the project now has up to two years to submit fully developed proposals to compete for a firm award.

An applicant with a first-round pass can also be awarded development funding towards the development of their scheme.

published on: 2 April 2014