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NAG exhibition space to more than double under new expansion plans

Newcastle Art Gallery’s exhibition space will more than double under amended plans for the cultural hub’s redevelopment.

The City of Newcastle is expected to lodge an amended development application for the Gallery’s expansion after Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Gallery Director Lauretta Morton, along with NAG Working Party Chair Cathy Tate and the board of the Art Gallery Foundation presented the plans to Federal Senator Hollie Hughes and NSW Upper House Member Taylor Martin MLC this week.

The expansion will see the overall exhibition space expanded by 250% which will allow for the inclusion of a dedicated display of the Gallery’s permanent collection.

The additional space has been created by the removal of two shopfronts proposed in the approved DA that will see the Gallery extended. east along Darby Street and Queen Street.

“An expanded Newcastle Art Gallery would further develop the Civic Precinct and provide a wide range of benefits to the community including increased exhibitions, events, educational programs and upgraded facilities,” the Lord Mayor said.

“This is particularly important as a mechanism to help stimulate the NSW economy and create 170 jobs during this time of uncertainty. 

Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation Chair Suzie Galwey, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, Senator Hollie Hughes and Taylor Martin MLC at Newcastle Art Gallery.

“The annual impact on regional revenue would be more than $1 million, with 14,116 additional local visitors and tourists exploring what the gallery and the city has to offer.”

Gallery Director Lauretta Morton added that the expansion would provide yet another major drawcard for visitors to Newcastle.

“As Australia’s first purpose-built regional Gallery, Newcastle is custodian to a nationally recognised permanent collection of over 7,000 works of art, providing a time capsule of Australian art dating back to the earliest days of Newcastle more than 200 years ago when it became Australia’s second city to be settled,” she said.  

“The long-awaited expansion of the Gallery, which our Foundation, Society and the community have worked tirelessly towards, will offer the ability to share more of the City’s collection, displaying works of art of local, national and international importance for visitors to view and enjoy.  

“This makes the Gallery one of the City’s biggest cultural assets, located in the heart of the city centre’s revitalisation directly across from the new 5-star Kingsley Hotel.”