Newcastle Art Gallery Expansion

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We are reimagining Newcastle Art Gallery.

Newcastle Art Gallery has been at the heart of our city’s rich arts and cultural history for over forty years. Now, the story of its future is set to begin.

The expansion project will deliver an additional 1,600 square meters of exhibition space to showcase our city's collection and our artists’ most groundbreaking ideas.

The project will also deliver a new café and retail shop, multi-purpose and educational program spaces, a secure international standard loading dock, and will extend the building's footprint east along Darby Street and Queen Street.

While Newcastle Art Gallery is being reimagined, we will continue to deliver ambitious offsite and digital programming for the community. For regular updates on our offsite programs, visit the Gallery’s website

What is happening on site?

In April councillors unanimously voted to award a $43.8 million contract for the main construction works to Hansen Yuncken Pty Ltd. Hansen Yuncken has completed significant infrastructure projects in NSW and Australia in recent years, including New Space, Home of the Arts on the Gold Coast and the new Maitland Council Administration Centre.

Now that early site preparation works are complete Hansen Yuncken have taken possession of the site to commence the main construction works. The expansion is scheduled to be completed by late 2024.

For the latest information on construction works zones and site activities view our works updates.

What was involved in preparing the site for construction?

Site preparation works are now complete, including remediation of historic mine tunnels 80 metres below the building, to ensure the safety of the site ahead of the main expansion works. Newcastle's long coal mining heritage means that much of the city centre sits on top of a number of historical underground mine workings, which date back as far as the early 1800s.

Around 13,500 cubic metres of grout, which is equivalent to five-and-a-half Olympic-size swimming pools, was successfully placed in the Dudley and Borehole seams running underneath the site as part of the project's Grouting and Verification Plan approved by Subsidence Advisory New South Wales. The remediation work was made possible with the support of the Newcastle Mines Grouting Fund, administered by the Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation.

Work has also included investigation of the existing building's structure and services, relocation of some underground utilities, and heritage investigations to record the history of the site. In recent months you may have noticed archaeologists at work uncovering and documenting the history of the site which included homes, a hotel and a cordial factory. Find out more about the history of the site.

How is it funded?

The $43.8 million expansion project is supported by $5 million from the Australian Government under the Regional Recovery Partnerships program and $5 million from the New South Wales Government, as well as $12 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 $1 million is being sought through the Foundation's public fundraising campaign.

Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation is an independent not-for-profit organisation. Thanks to the generosity of donors, they are close to reaching their goal of $13 million. Be part of the story. Join these donors by making your tax-deductible gift for the Gallery Expansion today

Latest news:

13 July 2023 - Artists make their mark on Newcastle Art Gallery expansion

27 April 2023 – Tender awarded for Newcastle Art Gallery

24 January 2023 – Next steps in the expansion of the Newcastle Art Gallery

16 December 2022 - City of Newcastle takes next step towards expansion of Newcastle Art Gallery

26 August 2022 – Expansion project moves underground as mine remediation kicks off at Newcastle Art Gallery

16 August 2022 – Valuation delivers multimillion-dollar boost to Newcastle Art Gallery Collection

10 August 2022 – Architects Clare Design share Newcastle Art Gallery interior sketches

27 April 2022 – Early works to commence underneath Newcastle Art Gallery ahead of expansion

28 January 2022 – Newcastle Art Gallery expansion set to start Monday

28 September 2021 – CN and Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation agree on $10 Million contribution to long-awaited expansion project

22 July 2021 – Newcastle Art Gallery expansion set to proceed