MK Gallery in Milton Keynes is to receive an award of £2,950,000 from Arts Council England for major expansion work. The funding follows the gallery’s successful Stage Two capital funding application and means that the gallery has now secured nearly 90% of its target of £10m.

The planned expansion will double the current exhibition spaces, while also providing new education and community facilities, and a new café and shop. Three new cinema screens will also be built.

Commenting on the ACE award, MK Gallery director Anthony Spira said:  “We are enormously grateful to Arts Council England for joining Milton Keynes Council in recognising the important role culture plays in Milton Keynes and the wider region. This opportunity will enable the gallery to diversify its programme and to engage with much larger audiences.”

Hedley Swain, Arts Council England area director for the South East, said: “MK Gallery plays a key role in bringing more arts and culture to the region and makes an important contribution to contemporary visual arts. We are pleased to be able to support the gallery in its continued development and expansion through our Capital programme, enabling them to be more resilient and also helping to develop and widen both its audience and artistic offer.”

Councillor Sarah Betteley, MK Council’s Community Engagement and Empowerment portfolio holder, added: “We are pleased to work alongside Arts Council England as investors in this significant cultural development.  The council has committed to MK Gallery expansion as one of its strategic arts objectives.”

The expansion project is to be led by London-based 6a architects. Recent work by the practice includes the extension to the South London Gallery, Raven Row art gallery in Spitalfields, east London, and the new Fashion Galleries in the Octagon Court at the V&A Museum.

MK Gallery still needs to raise the final 10% of funding for the project and is encouraging individuals and businesses to contribute funds in a variety of ways.