University of Leicester gains planning permission for new gallery

Posted by pt91 at Oct 15, 2014 02:21 PM |
Leicester City Council approves plans for new exhibition space

Issued by Embrace Arts on 2 October 2014

Planning permission for building a new gallery at Embrace Arts at the Richard Attenborough Centre (RAC), the University of Leicester’s arts centre, has been approved by Leicester City Council.

Michaela Butter, Director of Embrace Arts, which is responsible for programming at the RAC, said: “We are delighted to hear that planning permission has been granted. By this time next year we will have a wonderful new gallery offering a wide range of exhibitions and events to local communities.  As the University of Leicester’s arts centre we want the new gallery to be a welcoming place showing the very best contemporary work and offering chances for discussion and participation.”

The gallery, designed by GSSArchitecture, will enhance and facilitate the RAC’s commitment to be a fully inclusive arts venue providing access to the arts for all. The extension will facilitate access to all users. Incorporating multiple sustainable features to reduce its carbon-footprint, the new build will reflect the architectural features of the current building.

Increasing the gross internal floor area by 507 square metres, the new gallery will be split over two levels, maximising the exhibition space. It will include one large double height gallery, accessed via a lift or staircase, and two small ones. It will also be complemented by a landscaped outdoor viewing area at the front of the gallery.

The publicly-accessible art gallery will deliver three temporary exhibitions per year, giving free entry to the public. Extending the current performance and creative learning offer, the gallery will encourage new audiences and communities to engage with Embrace Arts’ programming. Adding to the cultural value and vitality of the city, the gallery will bring local, national and international contemporary art to audiences in Leicester.

The £1.5 million cost of the new gallery is being secured with support from Arts Council England and other grants and individual donations raised by the University of Leicester through its Breaking Barriers Appeal. Deputy Development Director Ave Vinick commented: “While over £1.4 million has already been raised from nearly 1,000 generous donors, we are still urgently seeking additional support to complete the Appeal and begin construction.”

For more information about how to donate, please contact Ave Vinick at (0116) 252 2176 or or make a gift on line at


Notes to Editors:

Further details are available from:

Michaela Butter at email on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays only.

Jeremy Webster at email

Ave Vinick at

Embrace Arts at the Richard Attenborough Centre

The University of Leicester’s arts centre – open to all – known for creating connections between the University and wider communities, acts as a creative hub for artists, performers, audiences and learners, and pioneers new and exciting approaches to the arts in an inclusive and welcoming space, breaking down barriers to access.

The Richard Attenborough Centre’s welcoming 120-seater Princess Diana Hall, dance and art studios, gallery and bright foyer space enable people to engage with the arts as audiences, performers and learners. It is currently fundraising to match a £600,000 capital grant from Arts Council England to extend its existing gallery space for the display and interpretation of contemporary visual art and to increase access for disabled people.

More information is available at

Embrace Arts at the Richard Attenborough Centre, Lancaster Road, Leicester LE1 7HA. Box office: 0116 252 2455; e-mail:

Arts Council England

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people's lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries - from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

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