Kettle’s Yard to expand

Louise Floyd - News Reporter 30 January 2010

Kettle’s Yard has been given the initial support of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to extend its existing space and improve the care of its collection. The gallery, which is home to the works of artists such as Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Joan Miró, will be given a grant of £225,000 to develop the proposal, and the prospect of an award of £2.3 million towards the full cost of the plans, which is £5 million.

Kettle’s Yard plans to extend into the adjacent building, formerly a post office and Chinese takeaway until  it was destroyed by fire, to create space for a new education centre, a café and a floor for seminars and digital work.

Speaking to The Cambridge Student (TCS), Caroline Sier, Director of the Kettle’s Yard Development Appeal, emphasised the need for extra space so the gallery can continue its current outreach and educational work. She said that Kettle’s Yard with its current capacity “can’t meet the demand”, since the number of visitors it receives has more than doubled in the past fifteen years to over 70,000 annually.

Kevin McCloud, presenter of Grand Designs and former Cambridge student, commented “it is rare to find an arts venue with the enormous popular appeal that Kettle’s Yard has”.

The gallery’s founder, Jim Ede, wanted to create “a living place…where young people could be at home unhampered by the greater austerity of the museum”.

Fifty-three years later, Kettle’s Yard remains true to the wishes of its founder; delivering 400 educational activities and visits annually, offering Cambridge students the chance to borrow pictures from its loan collection, and holding open house every day except Mondays. If all goes to plan, the work on Kettle’s Yard will begin in 2011 and be completed late in 2012, with an official opening planned for early 2013.

Louise Floyd – News Reporter