Portland Museum of Art plans $85m expansion to double its space

PMA’s new building would be designed with sustainable materials, and increase the museum’s size to 100,000 square feet. The Portland Museum of Art (PMA) in Maine is planning an $85m expansion that would more than double the institution’s space with a new building on the site of the former Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. Additionally, the existing buildings will be renovated, the Portland Press Herald reports. “Right now, because of our growth, the real risk is not to build,” Portland Museum of Art director Mark Bessire told the publication. “We’re at capacity,” Bessire said. “If museums…

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New life as artistic hub for Birmingham’s Junction Works building

Work has begun to transform a run-down listed building in Birmingham into a new home for artists. Charity Grand Union, which runs a gallery and artist studios in the city, is working with landlord Homes England on the scheme to bring new life back to the grade II Junction Works complex in Digbeth. It has secured £500,000 from Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), a further £25,000 from developer Stoford and £150,000 of private funding for phase one of the works. This will see the front part of the building renovated to…

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V&A Museum, London. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

UK museum and attraction visits down by 70% in 2020

The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) has released 2020 visitor numbers which saw an annual decline of 70 per cent due to the unprecedent impacts of the pandemic. Due to influx in overseas tourists, UK visitor attractions enjoyed a strong start to 2020. However, through the first national lockdown (imposed March 2020) British museums and attractions visitor numbers declined by 66 per cent. By Summer, outdoor sites were given the greenlight to reopen earlier than indoor attractions – making greenspace destinations more popular than ever before. For the first…

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