Entertainment & Arts

Baltic art gallery expands with new branch

Baltic art gallery
Image caption The original Baltic gallery, housed in an old flour mill, will celebrate its 10th birthday later this year

The Baltic art gallery in Gateshead is to open an offshoot gallery in a new arts complex in neighbouring Newcastle.

The Baltic, which opened a decade ago, had more than 500,000 visitors last year, when it hosted the Turner Prize.

The new £10m arts centre, named Baltic 39, will open in April in a Grade II listed former printing warehouse.

The Baltic said the new space would give artists "creative freedom to experiment and innovate". The building will also house studios for 32 artists.

Named after its location at 39 High Bridge, over the River Tyne from the main Baltic gallery, the new branch will also provide a home for Northumbria University's fine art students.

A statement said the gallery would allow artists and curators to "stretch the boundaries of contemporary art practice".

Its first exhibition, which opens on 6 April, will be curated by sculptor Phyllida Barlow and will use the work of 12 UK-based artists to examine the process of making art.

Arts Council England will fund the exhibition programme.

Arts Council regional director Alison Clark-Jenkins said: "A pioneering approach to partnership between public, cultural and academic institutions has resulted in a nationally significant visual arts facility, developing both artists and practice.

"At times this has been a long journey for the Arts Council and our partners - but we've ended up in a very exciting place."

Newcastle City Council, which owns the building, said the building's redevelopment had cost £10m.

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