Upcoming plans for F.E McWilliam Gallery and Studio

FE Gallery plans

The popular arts and tourism facility that attracted over 50,000 visitors last year, recently secured a £3.5m investment from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund, as one of ten successful projects announced for Northern Ireland. The project is supported by an additional £397,000 investment by council.

The F.E. McWilliam Gallery opened in 2008 and is dedicated to the memory of sculptor Frederick Edward McWilliam, one of Ireland’s most influential and successful artists, who was born in Banbridge in 1909. It features a permanent display of McWilliam’s work, temporary exhibitions of Irish and international art, a popular craft shop and Quail’s award-winning café, and attracts a wide range of local, national and international visitors.

The proposed expansion will see the Gallery transformed by adding a new dedicated space to exhibit F.E. McWilliam’s work along with  education and community rooms, which will enable more people to engage in arts and cultural programmes and events. The development will also provide increased Tourist Information provision for the Borough and improvements to the shop and café, increasing visitor capacity throughout the facility.

You can follow the progress of the project here starting with the designs for the expansion.

Project Timeline:

January 2023

Successful levelling up fund announced for FE McWilliam Gallery & Studio

February 2023

Lord Caine visits FE McWilliam Gallery & Studio to hear about exciting expansion plans

October 2023

Public consultation on proposed designs completed.

November 2023

Planning proposal submitted.

April 2024

Planning outcome expected. Commence tender process if planning is approved.

September/October 2024

Construction work due to begin at the Gallery.

Early 2026

Project completion and officially open the new extended gallery.

*project timeline is subject to change

This page will be updated as the project progresses, information about opening times will also be published here.