Project Space Leeds [PSL] has been given a major show of confidence in its plans to create a new contemporary visual arts centre for Leeds that will transform the iconic former Tetley Brewery headquarters building into a publicly accessible creative facility, to be named The Tetley. The Tetley is a new cultural centre for Leeds, located on the fast-developing ‘South Bank’ of the city, operated and curated by Project Space Leeds. Housed in the landmark former headquarters of the historic Tetley Brewery, The Tetley will be a new centre of excellence for contemporary art and an animated social hub for artists and the public.

The Tetley
© Stephen Isles

The building will contain exhibition spaces, with dedicated learning and resource spaces. An active programme of events, including talks, screenings and workshops will enable people of all ages to engage with and participate in contemporary art. By creating opportunities for artists based in Leeds and across the north, and showing cutting-edge contemporary art created elsewhere, The Tetley will help raise the city’s profile and to further cultural exchange between Leeds and other cities and places internationally.

Visitor facilities will include a café/bar offering a wide range of World Beers that will be distinctive in the Leeds area, and a range of spaces which are available to hire for private or corporate events, including the beautiful boardroom complete with portraits of former Tetley company chairmen. Visitors will also be able to buy editioned works created specially by artists, and unique items relating to the history of the Tetley company and the building itself.

The Tetley
© Stephen Isles

The Tetley houses a collection of artworks, documents and objects relating to the history of the much-loved Tetley Brewery, founded by Joshua Tetley in 1822. The collection will be available for public viewing and contemporary artists will be invited to create new work in response to it and the post-industrial heritage of the historically significant area. Project Space Leeds will also look after the Tetley archive and the redevelopment will preserve heritage features such as the original boardroom and war memorials in the building.

Associated events such as talks, seminars and education workshops sit alongside the exhibitions programme, engaging diverse audiences and aiming to grow awareness of the contemporary visual arts in Leeds. By working with organisations from outside Leeds, Project Space Leeds aims not only to bring established artists to the city and to provide opportunities for native talent, but also to position Leeds on the national and international radar.

Set to open in Autumn 2013, ‘The Tetley’ will create opportunities for artists based in the city and region to develop and show work that will appeal to a wide range of audiences, and artists will be commissioned to create new work as part of the capital refurbishment.

The Tetley
© Stephen Isles

Founded in 2006, and now a registered charity, Project Space Leeds, led by two of its founding directors, artist-curators Pippa Hale and Kerry Harker, will be at the heart of a creative renaissance along Leeds’ ‘South Bank’. ‘The Tetley’ will also enable the charity to generate income from commercial activity, which will support and broaden the scope of its artistic and education programmes and ensure a strong and sustainable future for the organisation.

“For years in Leeds there has been a gap in provision for contemporary visual art and it is fantastic that, at long last, the city will have its own interpretation of brilliantly inspiring, thriving places such as Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts and Bristol’s Arnolfini.” Kerry Harker, Director, Project Space Leeds

Developing a family friendly ethos is a key part of the plans for The Tetley. A new green space will be created outside the main entrance with imaginative ‘play facilities’ commissioned from artists and an annual programme of outdoor events.

Details of the exhibitions programme, commissions and events will be announced on the website shortly.

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