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BBC Radio 4’s Reverend Richard Coles to appear at art auction to support urgent public appeal for new inclusive arts space for Leicestershire and Rutland

Posted by pt91 at Jul 02, 2013 12:31 PM |
October deadline set to raise remainder of funds for £1.5 million Gallery at University of Leicester’s inclusive Richard Attenborough Arts Centre

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 2 July 2013

PHOTOCALL:  Photo opportunity at 6.30pm on Wednesday 3 July at The Goldmark Gallery, 14 Orange St, Uppingham, Rutland LE15 9SQ

The Reverend Richard Coles, cleric and broadcaster, former member of the pop group The Communards, co-presenter of Saturday Live, and parish priest is appearing at an art auction at the prestigious Goldmark Gallery in Rutland to support an appeal to raise funds for a new, inclusive arts space for the region.

A total of £900,000 has to be raised by the end of October in order to create the £1.5 million New Galleries Wing for Embrace Arts at the Richard Attenborough centre – the University of Leicester’s inclusive, multi-use arts centre.

The University has already been awarded a prestigious challenge grant from Arts Council England which will provide £600,000 on the condition that the balance, £900,000, is raised by the end of October, 2013.

So far, over £500,000 has been donated by trusts, foundations and individuals as part of the University’s Breaking Barriers Appeal which aims to break down the barriers that prevent more people, including people with disabilities and those with young children, from gaining access to the very best of contemporary and visual arts

In addition to a presentation by the Reverend Coles in support of the project, guests will be able to see the latest plans for the new space, hear presentations by senior University representatives and bid on some very special art work that has been donated in support of the Appeal.

Gallery owner Mike Goldmark is sponsoring the event which is being hosted by the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, Dr Laurence Howard.

This is a private event but the press is welcome to attend the opening reception from 6.30pm to 7.00pm.

Mr Goldmark said: “I am delighted to support the Breaking Barriers Appeal as I know what an amazing difference the right facilities and support can make for people, especially children, who have a disability.  The new wing at the Richard Attenborough centre will provide a fantastic new contemporary arts venue for the East Midlands to be proud of and will ensure that even more people are able to access this incredible, life-changing resource.”

Dr Howard said: “It is an honour and a pleasure for me to host this exciting event here in Rutland.  I have worked with the Richard Attenborough Centre as a volunteer and have not only seen for myself how important their work is but also know how much they are limited by their current space.”

Former Paralympian and world-record holder, Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, who is a University of Leicester Honorary Graduate, added: “I am extremely proud to support The Breaking Barriers Appeal.  Art is such a powerful tool that enables people of all abilities to express themselves in new and creative ways and this appeal will ensure that even more people are able to access the incredible resource that is Embrace Arts.

“Having recently visited Embrace Arts, I've seen first-hand just how important the centre is to people of all ages and backgrounds and abilities."

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 extension will provide an additional 400 square metres of gallery space, increasing the size of the building by 50%. 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

More information on the appeal at:

Embrace Arts is located at the Richard Attenborough Centre, University of Leicester, on Lancaster Road (near the fire station) LE1 7HA. More information is available at


NOTE TO NEWSDESK: For more information contact Ave Vinick on

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