Cooper Gallery - Creatin connections – Give your views

Barnsley residents are invited to give their views on transformational plans for the Cooper Gallery.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has given initial support of £46,600 towards the development of an exciting project which could transform the Cooper Gallery, which is run by Barnsley Council.

The Cooper Gallery: Creating Connections project seeks to increase the number of visitors by attracting new audiences to the venue and enabling more people to engage with its heritage and fascinating stories. The gallery celebrates its centenary this year and currently attracts in the region of 60,000 visitors annually. The HLF development grant has been awarded to help the Cooper Gallery progress plans to apply for a further grant to deliver the project.

The project plans to:

  • extend the gallery spaces to allow more of the collection of historic works of art to be displayed
  • make the gallery more interactive and fun for families and provide facilities for schools to engage with the heritage
  • alter the building’s layout to restore the original entrance and improve the outdoor public space at the rear
  • improve artwork storage facilities and conserve works of art for display
  • provide opportunities for more people to get involved through volunteering

The project is a partnership between the Cooper Gallery Trustees (a Registered Charity) and Barnsley Council.

Specialists have been contracted to develop the plans including architects (GHM Partnership) and exhibition designers (PLB Ltd). Extensive consultation is also being undertaken with a wide range of stakeholders to develop an Activity Plan.

Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson, Development, Environment and Culture, said: “These are very exciting plans and we’d like to involve Barnsley residents as much as possible. I urge people to visit the gallery and take part.”

Public consultation is now taking place in the Cooper Gallery on the plans. The plans will be on display until Wednesday, 5 March.

The Round 2 bid will be submitted in June 2014 with a decision expected in September 2014. Work would begin on site in early 2015.

The project is intended to be a lasting legacy to mark the Centenary. However, the Gallery is also celebrating the Centenary throughout 2014 with a series of events and activities:

  • A Cooper 100 brand identity has been developed to be used on marketing material throughout the year
  • The logo will feature in one of the Town Hall flower beds this summer
  • An exhibition, Cooper 100, will feature 100 paintings from the permanent collection. The extraordinary variety of the collection in style, genre and period will cover the walls of the Fox Wing gallery in a feast for the eyes
  • A celebration event on 31 July at the gallery and the launch of the Cooper 100 campaign