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Northampton art gallery gets temporary home

19 July 2021

A Northampton based art gallery and studio will get its 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, then intends to open a new gallery and studios at 24 Guildhall Road, as part of a three-year development programme.

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 24 Guildhall Road is ongoing, with works scheduled to complete in early 2022 as part of the South East Midland Local Economic Partnership’s (SEMLEP) Getting Building Fund to facilitate the creation of 16 artist studios, a new gallery and entrance lobby.

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

“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 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.

Judith Barker, Director of Programmes and Governance at SEMLEP added, “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.

Councillor Lizzy Bowen, Cabinet member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth at West Northamptonshire Council, 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, including images and an enquiry form, please visit the regeneration pages on the West Northamptonshire website.

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