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Published Tuesday, 07 February 2012

A new home has been found for the Fishmarket gallery, which will have to move from its current location as it has been earmarked as the site for Northamptons new bus interchange.

Northamptonshire County Council has offered the gallery a four-storey building at No. 9 Guildhall Road, metres away from the Royal & Derngate.

At the same time, Northampton Borough Council has agreed funding with Fishmarket of £25,000 a year for the next three years.

Cllr Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for customer and community services, said: "We are delighted to announce a new home for the Fishmarket gallery.

"The venue boasts a central location, directly opposite the museum and art gallery, adjacent to Guildhall and just a few metres away from the Royal & Derngate.

"This gives the opportunity to collaborate more closely with cultural partners and contribute to the establishment of a strong cultural quarter in the historic centre of Northampton."

The Fishmarket curator, Catherine Hemelryk, will work with artists to develop a programme of contemporary art exhibitions which will benefit from the range of spaces on offer: from smaller, more intimate spaces, to larger, brighter halls and a high-walled courtyard for events or large-scale sculptural installations.

A spokesman for Fishmarket said: "The Fishmarket board of directors would like to express their gratitude to the county council and borough council for agreeing their continued support for the activities, events and exhibitions which Fishmarket are dedicated to offering.

"Fishmarket will work towards opening up the upper floors to offer a range of spaces for performance events, including music and comedy programmes, education workshops, artist studios, creative small business and artists residencies.

"The location, and in particular the courtyard which links to the Royal & Derngate buildings, offers the potential to develop No. 9 Guildhall Road into a central hub where collaborative projects, shared with our partners, can be presented."

Councillor David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said he was pleased that that the three organisations had reached such a positive agreement.

"We are very pleased to be able to support the Fishmarket and the vibrancy they add to Northampton's arts and culture scene.  We worked hard with Northamptonshire County Council to find them a suitable new base and I'm sure this central location will work well for them.

"The bus interchange project is a vital part of the regeneration of Northampton but it was important to all of us to help the Fishmarket keep a base in the town. I am glad we have been able to work together to achieve that."

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