Northampton art gallery given temporary home in new 'state-of-the-art' facility

"The temporary gallery home will allow our community to access the arts, surrounded by creative businesses, while the restoration takes place around the corner”

Monday, 19th July 2021, 4:15 pm
NN Contemporary Art has temporarily moved to the Vulcan Works Creative Hub on Fetter Street.
NN Contemporary Art has temporarily moved to the Vulcan Works Creative Hub on Fetter Street.

A Northampton based art gallery and studio will be provided with a temporary home in a new state-of-the-art facility later this month.

NN Contemporary Art will partially operate some of its programmes in the Vulcan Works Creative Hub until early 2022, when it will then open a brand new gallery and studios at 24 Guildhall Road as part of a three-year development programme.

CEO and artistic director of NN Contemporary Art, Emer Grant, said: "NN Contemporary Art has long had a presence in Guildhall Road, as we first moved to number 9 in 2013.

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“Temporarily basing ourselves in the Vulcan Works will allow us to continue providing our essential remit of artists’ studios, project space residencies, Ambassador programmes, associated projects and online educational activities.

“The Vulcan Works will spearhead new creative economies for Northampton and a dynamic environment to facilitate the development of a new contemporary arts institution at 24 Guildhall Road."

The organisation will be based in the St John’s building on Fetter Street, which is a new-build element of the West Northamptonshire Council-owned Vulcan Works and includes individual offices that will be used as artists' studios and a larger space for their ‘Project Space’ programme.

The refurbishment of the new site, 24 Guildhall Road, is ongoing, with works scheduled to complete in early 2022. The gallery is being funded through the Getting Building Fund and the South East Midlands Local Economic Partnership (SEMLEP) and is a joint venture between West Northamptonshire Council and NN Contemporary

Visitors at the newly refurbished gallery next year can expect to see 16 artist studios, a new gallery and entrance lobby.

Director of Programmes and Governance at SEMLEP, Judith Barker, said: “Supporting our areas cultural and creative assets is vital to making our area a diverse and innovative place where people want to live, work and visit.

“It’s fantastic to see our Local Growth Funded project, Vulcan Works, opening its doors and providing a temporary home for our Getting Building Fund project, the NN Gallery.

"The temporary gallery home will allow our community to access the arts, surrounded by creative businesses, while the restoration takes place around the corner.”

The St John’s Building is the first part of the overall site to reach practical completion, which has created the opportunity for NN Contemporary to use the space in place of having to rent elsewhere.

The hub, which occupies a large site between Guildhall Road and Fetter Street, contains 68 lettable units, co-working space, breakout areas and meeting rooms for start-up enterprises and creative businesses.

Cabinet member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth at West Northamptonshire Council, Councillor Lizzy Bowen, said: “We’re really pleased to be welcoming NN Contemporary Art as our first temporary tenants to use this fantastic new facility while 24 Guildhall Road is under redevelopment.

“The Vulcan Works are situated in the creative centre of Northampton’s growing Cultural Quarter, so it’s ideal that we can open this facility up to NN Contemporary, allowing them to continue with their artistic programme until their new studios and gallery are complete.”

For more information about the Vulcan Works Creative Hub, please visit: https://www.westnorthants.gov.uk/business-and-licensing/regeneration.