The Tetley, C: Julian Lister

The Tetley contemporary art gallery opens in Leeds

Sharon Heal, 29.11.2013
Gallery housed in the headquarters of former Tetley brewery
The Tetley contemporary art gallery opened in Leeds today with the aim of attracting 45,000 visitors in its first year.

The gallery is housed in the headquarters of the former Tetley brewery in the city. The art deco building has undergone a £1.5m transformation over the past year funded by Arts Council England (ACE) and private sponsors.

Carlsberg, the owners of the site, has given around £1m to the project and has leased the building on a peppercorn rent for a minimum of 10 years.

Kerry Harker, the co-founder and director of the gallery, told Museums Journal that the project had come at the right time. “If it had been 10 years ago the building would have been snapped up for a boutique hotel or a company headquarters.”

The art deco building housed the headquarters of the Tetley brewery, which closed in 2011 after 189 years of operation.

Artist working on the site include James Clarkson who has created new work using objects he found during the renovation. Other artists involved in the launch programme include Emma Rushton, Derek Tyman and Rehana Zaman.

Harker said that the idea was to connect people with artists and enable the public to see artist as they are working in the space. She said it had been inspired the Roadhouse in Manchester, Glasgow's Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) and the Arnolfini in Bristol.

The inaugural programme is called A New Reality and will feature exhibitions, discussions and events.

The gallery receives revenue funding from ACE as a National Portfolio Organisation and from Leeds City Council. It has approximately 30 staff including the in-house catering operation.