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Whitworth Gallery scoops two top awards

28 Mar 2011

University of Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery has been awarded £250,000 by the Clore Duffield Foundation, to fund an educational art studio.

Whitworth learning session. Photo Joel Chester Fildes
Whitworth learning session. Photo Joel Chester Fildes

The gallery has also scooped this year’s prestigious £10,000 Lever Prize award.

Named the Clore Learning Studio, it will provide a learning environment for a range of art activities, increasing learning activities in the gallery by a quarter.

The studio will be integrated into a £12 million extension, designed by leading architects MUMA, which is set to transform the Whitworth. A Heritage Lottery fund  grant of £8 million for the extension was announced in February.

The studio will be a light, flexible space on the ground floor of one of the two new wings which will surround the gallery’s new art garden.

The Whitworth became the sixth organisation to receive the Lever Prize – awarded annually, at the Bruntwood Awards to Arts and Business North 2011 ceremony at the Town Hall in Manchester.

The Prize aims to revive the philanthropic traditions of the industrial past, embodied by soap magnate and patron of the arts, Lord Leverhulme.

Each year it is judged by the North West Business Leadership Team, which comprises senior representatives of the 30 largest companies in the region, in partnership with Arts & Business North.

Maria Balshaw, Director of the Gallery said: Maria Balshaw, director of the Whitworth said: “This is really exciting news for the Whitworth following on from our recent Heritage Lottery Fund £8 million announcement. Winning the Lever Prize provides us with an excellent opportunity to develop links with key businesses in the North West.

“The £250,000 Clore Duffield award for our Clore Learning Studio is a significant step towards reaching our target of £12 million for the new gallery and will create inspiring learning spaces for children and young people.”

The Clore Duffield Foundation award is one of 11 grants to cultural organisations across England from the Clore Duffield Foundation totalling £8.2 million that will open up new creative learning spaces for children and young people.

Dame Vivien Duffield said: “I believe passionately that children and young people deserve the very best opportunities to benefit from the transforming power of our world class cultural organisations. I am delighted that we have been able to support such outstanding projects created by some of the best architects, in museums, galleries and theatres across the country. Now more than ever, I believe that culture should be at the heart of our children’s learning.”

Notes for editors

For media enquires contact

Tim Manley
Whitworth Art Gallery
0161 275 2726
07810 152655

Mike Addelman
University of Manchester press office
0161 275 0790
07717 881567