Tate Birmingham? - contemporary art focus for southside

The Birmingham Post has reported on a feasibility study into developing a museum of contemporary art in Birmingham, Study into new contemporary art museum linking Arcadian with Digbeth, some three years after it publicised the idea in 2006 which was raised by the Ikon Gallery director Jonathan Watkins and Ikon chairman architect Glenn Howells.

The idea has received enthusiastic support from Tate director Nicholas Serota.

Research is now being carried out by Ikon with funding from the Arts Council England and Advantage West Midlands while Birmingham City Council has contributed £200,000 to enable Ikon to mount a programme of high-profile events in Eastside as a test bed.

Coun Martin Mullaney, cabinet member for culture, said: “I’m keen to support this. We want it to be on a par with Tate Modern and the Guggenheim in Bilbao.”
Coun Mullaney would like to see the museum on the site of the wholesale markets, to connect the area around the Arcadian with Digbeth. He would also like to see a film centre comparable with Liverpool’s FACT developed there.http://www.birminghampost.net/news/west-midlands-news/2009/06/30/study-into-new-contemporary-art-museum-linking-arcadian-with-digbeth-65233-24019943/

The proposal and study develops on ideas that were suggested as starting points in the Big City Plan consultation for an area titled Southside which would south of the city core linking the Chinese and Gay Quarter with the current markets site and into Digbeth. With the Wholesale Markets moving and a large space being created it would offer a central focal point to attract visitors to the Southside area and build on the creativity of Digbeth.


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