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Construction work has begun on Portsmouth’s leading contemporary art gallery, Aspex Gallery, in the historic Vulcan Building on the waterfront at Gunwharf Quays.

Earlier this year, Aspex was awarded £158,504 from Arts Council England’s National Lottery-funded small capital grants programme. The gallery has also received further support from the Foyle Foundation for the project, enabling a significant shift in the building’s layout to improve its facilities for both visitors and artists.

Aspex has occupied the Vulcan Building for almost ten years, and have now commissioned architects Manalo & White to craft an innovative plan to improve the building to better engage with its audience.

The building work, led by Hampshire-based contractor Building IS, has already begun, transforming Aspex’s former participation space into a new artist’s studio.

Improvements are also being made to the building’s environmental sustainability. Aspex’s digital infrastructure will be upgraded, too.

This work will also see the relocation of the café servery and the continuation of the relationship between the gallery and award-winning social enterprise Lily & Lime. For this relocation to go ahead, the café will be closed from Monday 25th April for four weeks.

The gallery will remain open throughout the build, providing its visitors with access to its exhibitions, shop, and full range of participatory workshops for everyone from toddlers through to those with Dementia.

This major renovation will provide Aspex with a series of renewed spaces, increasing the number of people able to get involved in the arts.

The building work will be completed in June, when the gallery will launch a series of new activities, including its first artist-in-residence in its new studio space.

The relaunch will also see the introduction of Family Saturdays, a free weekly drop-in event to encourage children, parents, and grandparents to get creative.

Follow the progress of the building project through Aspex’s social streams on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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