Gallery ‘is not going to close’

Leigh's Turnpike Gallery at Leigh Library
Leigh's Turnpike Gallery at Leigh Library
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BOSSES at Wigan Leisure Culture Trust have moved to deny rumours that the Turnpike Gallery is to shut.

Claims have recently been made that the popular centre in Leigh was closing its doors as a result of local government cuts.

That is not the case though. However, it will be subject to a review in how it operates.

Trust chiefs say that this is a gradual process though and will take place over a long period of time.

By the end of 2013/14, WLCT’s contract to manage the council’s leisure facilities will have reduced by £6.4m in just more than three years so something has to give.

But a WLCT spokesman said: “There are no plans to close the Turnpike Gallery.

“Our contract to manage leisure and cultural services, on behalf of Wigan Council, has reduced by £4.6m in the last two years.

“In 2013/14 it will be reduced by a further £1.8m to £10m per annum as part of Wigan Council’s £80m deficit reduction plan.

“In order to meet these financial challenges large parts of our business in Wigan have been reviewed.”

With regards to the Turnpike Gallery, one of the ideas is to include community groups more.

The spokesman added: “In the Turnpike Gallery’s case we believe it can continue to be a gallery for the people of the borough but in future exhibitions will be organised by members of the community such as art groups or photographic societies.

“The Turnpike Gallery will continue to be run by WLCT as we develop this new way of delivering exhibitions from the gallery.”