"Fantastic news for Wakefield’s growing cultural sector
(Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Service Director for Culture and Sport at Wakefield Metropolitan District Council)
Work began in May 2014 to breathe new life into Wakefield’s Old Drury Lane Library. Since the Library’s closure in October 2012 The Art House – which stands next door – has been planning an ambitious overhaul that will secure the future of this much-loved Grade II Listed Building and ensure it is open for use by artists, businesses and the public by Summer 2015.
The refurbished Old Library will house 34 artists’ studios, meeting spaces and offices linked to the current Art House building by an impressive double-height glazed extension to form a new public entrance on Mulberry Way.
Angela Galvin, Interim Chief Executive at The Art House said today: “The Drury Lane Library is too beautiful to stand empty – and the opportunities it provides are too precious not to invest in. We are delighted that Wakefield Metropolitan District Council, Arts Council England and the European Regional Development Fund share our vision not only to give Wakefield a bright building with brilliant projects but also strengthen The Art House’s ability to promote equality in the arts.”
The construction work will be carried out by York-based William Anelay Ltd The company’s Chairman, Charles Anelay said “We will be doing our very best as specialist builders to make sure that the work we do respects the building’s past, and alters it effectively to make a really good environment for people to work in for the future.”
John Pointon, Area Manager for Turner & Townsend, Project Managers, today talked about some of the challenges of converting an old building for The Art House – who pride themselves on providing “accessible” workspaces for artists: "We have been fortunate to have worked withThe Art House for several years now, involved in the development and delivery of both Phase 1 and 2 projects, and are proud to have been part of the organisations’ vision for the future. Both projects have had their challenges which has required us to work closely with The Art House and several key stakeholders to tight timescales and budgets, ensuring that both phases deliver buildings that provide true equality to all that visit or use the facilities on a day to day basis".
Follow developments on Twitter by following @OldLibraryWF1 and on Tumblr at oldlibrarywf1.tumblr.com
Find out how to apply for a Studio HERE
Art House Contact
Tel: 01924 312 000