South West Wales

Swansea's delay-hit Glynn Vivian gallery to open in October

Glynn Vivian art gallery
Image caption The gallery refurbishment was delayed by two years when contractors went into administration

Swansea's Glynn Vivian art gallery will finally reopen this October, two years after a multi-million pound refurbishment was due to be complete.

The gallery shut for the £6m revamp in 2011, shortly after celebrating its centenary.

But upgrading the building has been beset with delays.

Swansea council said the gallery will reopen on 15 October, with an exhibition of 10 drawings by Leonardo da Vinci.

Problems started after the original contractors tasked with the renovations, Opco Construction, went into administration in 2013.

The gallery's Grade II-listed status and difficulties working on a busy city centre site also caused further delays.

Image copyright Other
Image caption An artist's impression of how the new Glynn Vivian art gallery will look

Funded by the Arts Council of Wales, the Welsh Government, the Heritage Lottery Fund, conservation body Cadw, and Swansea council, the project includes a new lecture theatre, library, exhibition and areas for the conservation of delicate artwork.

An extension will link the 1970s and 1911 sections of the gallery, with a new entrance making the building fully wheelchair accessible for the first time.

The first pieces to be exhibited will be 10 priceless Da Vinci drawings from the late 15th and early 16th centuries, loaned by the Royal Collection.

It is hoped the new-look gallery will attract about 90,000 visitors a year.

Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea council's cabinet member for enterprise, development and regeneration, said: "The completion of this redevelopment and restoration project will make the Glynn Vivian a destination gallery of international significance, right at the heart of a regenerated city centre."

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