Newcastle Art Gallery Expansion


We are reimagining Newcastle Art Gallery.

Newcastle Art Gallery has been at the heart of our city’s rich arts and cultural history for over forty years. The expansion project will deliver an additional 1,600 square meters of exhibition space to showcase our city's collection and our artists’ most groundbreaking ideas.

The project will also deliver a new café and retail shop, multi-purpose and educational program spaces, a secure international standard loading dock, and will extend the building's footprint east along Darby Street and Queen Street.

Construction is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2024. A period of commissioning will then follow, ahead of the Gallery's relaunch in 2025.

While Newcastle Art Gallery is being reimagined, we will continue to deliver ambitious offsite and digital programming for the community. For regular updates on our offsite programs, visit the Gallery’s website

What is happening on site?

In April councillors unanimously voted to award a $43.8 million contract for the main construction works to Hansen Yuncken Pty Ltd. Hansen Yuncken has completed significant infrastructure projects in NSW and Australia in recent years, including New Space, Home of the Arts on the Gold Coast and the new Maitland Council Administration Centre.

A 33 metre high hammerhead tower crane was installed on site in late November, facilitating the next stage of construction.

For the latest information on construction works zones and site activities view our works updates.

What was involved in preparing the site for construction?

Site preparation works , including remediation of historic mine tunnels 80 metres below the building, were completed to ensure the safety of the site ahead of the main expansion works. Newcastle's long coal mining heritage means that much of the city centre sits on top of a number of historical underground mine workings, which date back as far as the early 1800s.

Around 13,500 cubic metres of grout, which is equivalent to five-and-a-half Olympic-size swimming pools, was successfully placed in the Dudley and Borehole seams running underneath the site as part of the project's Grouting and Verification Plan approved by Subsidence Advisory New South Wales. The remediation work was made possible with the support of the Newcastle Mines Grouting Fund, administered by the Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation.

Work also included investigation of the existing building's structure and services, relocation of some underground utilities, and heritage investigations to record the history of the site. In late 2023 you may have noticed archaeologists at work uncovering and documenting the history of the site which included homes, a hotel and a cordial factory. Find out more about the history of the site.

How is it funded?

The expansion project is supported by $5 million from the Australian Government under the Regional Recovery Partnerships program and $5 million from the New South Wales Government, as well as $12 million from the Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation made possible through the Valerie and John Ryan bequest, Margaret Olley Trust, and community fundraising over many years. A further $1 million is being sought through the Foundation's public fundraising campaign.

Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation is an independent not-for-profit organisation. Thanks to the generosity of donors, they are close to reaching their goal of $13 million. Be part of the story. Join these donors by making your tax-deductible gift for the Gallery Expansion today