Friday, July 26, 2024

$43.8m tender awarded for next stage of Newcastle gallery expansion

The second stage of the Newcastle Art Gallery expansion will begin next month after City of Newcastle Councillors last night unanimously awarded the $43.8 million contract for the main construction works to Hansen Yuncken Pty Ltd.

Council says the appointment is a major milestone towards the delivery of an expanded and upgraded Art Gallery of international standing, which will become a fitting home for the city’s nationally significant $126 million collection.

Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes said she was looking forward to being able to welcome the community back into the reimagined Art Gallery, with construction scheduled for completion in late 2024.

“The expansion of Newcastle Art Gallery will consolidate the Hunter’s reputation as an active and vibrant centre for the arts and culture, providing a significant cultural tourism opportunity for NSW,” Lord Mayor Nelmes said.

“By more than doubling the size of the Gallery and delivering a suite of modern facilities, the expansion will provide greater access to our nationally significant collection and a wider range of prominent exhibitions.”

Hansen Yuncken Pty Ltd has completed significant infrastructure projects in NSW and Australia in recent years, including HOTA, Home of the Arts on the Gold Coast and locally, the new Maitland Council Administration Centre.

An 18-month program of work will begin with site establishment in May while grouting of the historic mine tunnels, 80 metres below the building, continues.

Almost 12,000 cubic metres of grout has been placed so far in the Borehole and Dudley seams, with the mine remediation to ensure the safety of the site ahead of the main expansion works now nearing completion.

Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon welcomed the progress of the expansion project.

“This is a significant day for the upgrade of the Newcastle Art Gallery. I am delighted to see progress being made on the expansion of this major cultural asset,” Ms Claydon said.

“This project will further put Newcastle on the map as a cultural tourism destination, boost the economy and create jobs for locals.”

Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation Chair Suzie Galwey said excitement was building amongst its members and donors as the project reaches the next phase.

“We are delighted to see the expansion project reach this important milestone and look forward to construction commencing as soon as possible on this flagship cultural asset for our region,” Ms Galwey said.

“The Foundation thanks its members and donors for their generosity and unwavering support for this project over many years. We believe today’s announcement will inspire additional excitement and community support as the Foundation works towards its ambitious $13 million philanthropic goal.”

Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation is an independent charity which exists to provide philanthropic support for Newcastle Art Gallery.

The expansion project is supported by $5 million from the Australian Government under the Regional Recovery Partnerships program and $5 million from the NSW Government, as well as $10.5 million from the Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation made possible through the Valerie and John Ryan bequest, Margaret Olley Trust, and community fundraising over many years.

A further $2.5 million is being sought through the Foundation’s public fundraising campaign.

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