The Light and Inspiration Capital Project
Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other generous supporters, an exciting project to secure the future of the RWA, transforming the experience for visitors and the communities we work with, will be going ahead in 2021.
We are well on the way to raising the £3.8million investment needed to protect and improve our beautiful building and community activities so that we can continue to enrich lives, nurture talent and inspire creativity for all.
What will the Light and Inspiration Appeal achieve?
- Make urgent repairs to save the RWA’s Grade II* listed galleries from catastrophic failure.
- Bring world-class art and exhibitions to Bristol, attracting 40% more visitors and community users to the RWA.
- Extend RWA’s celebrated community and wellbeing programmes so more vulnerable and isolated people can find enjoyment through art and creativity.
- Deliver a step-change in financial and environmental sustainability.
“Without this project there is a real risk the RWA would have to close its doors.” Alison Bevan, RWA Director
How will the £3.8 million project secure the future of the RWA?
- Replace the original sky-light windows above the main galleries with new thermally-insulated lanterns, enabling the world’s finest artworks to be seen in Bristol’s stunning, purpose-built gallery
- Mitigate extreme temperatures, from sweltering summer heat to icy cold, vastly improving the experience for visitors and volunteers
- Upgrade the building to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs, including a new air source heat pump and under floor heating throughout the galleries
- Sensitively remodel the façade, with new entrances and lighting to engage more visitors and create a truly welcoming environment
- Transform the forecourt into a vibrant outdoor creative, social events space
- Build a new, much larger lift on the side of the building, improving access for all of our visitors as well as enabling us to easily transport largescale artworks to the first floor
- Enlarge the cafe, retail and greeting spaces to be warm and inviting
- Introduce advanced technology for on-site marketing and e-commerce
- Invest in more community exhibitions and learning programmes, starting with exciting plans during the period when the galleries will be closed for repair.
“In our 175-year history, tens of thousands of people have exhibited their work here, from famous artists – ranging from Turner to Turner Prize Winners – to emerging artists and schoolchildren. The RWA’s Light and Inspiration Appeal will ensure future generations can see world-class artworks, be inspired and encouraged to explore their own creativity." Stewart Geddes, Past RWA President
To find out about supporting this appeal please click here.
To find out who has supported the appeal to date please click here
About the RWA in general
The RWA – Bristol's first art gallery – is proud to bring world-class visual art from around the world to the South West.
Our vision is to be the South West’s leading centre for the exhibition, exploration and practice of the visual arts, recognised as a place that enriches and nourishes the lives of people from all communities and backgrounds.
Located in a spectacular Grade II* listed building in the heart of the city, the RWA is the UK's only regional Royal Academy of Art - one of five in total, alongside those in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and London - and is the only one housed in its own, original, purpose-built gallery.
Through its extensive programme of exhibitions, events, talks and lectures, the RWA is committed to providing great art for everybody, and to promoting the understanding and enjoyment of art for the widest possible audience.
Uniquely to Bristol, exhibitions at the RWA always feature work by leading contemporary artists (including the RWA’s own Academicians) alongside great works from the past, opening up new and surprising contexts and discussions.
Engagement and learning are vital to the work and future of the RWA. Through the activities of the Learning and Participation team, and the outstanding workshops and courses offered by the RWA Drawing School, the RWA aims to nurture artistic talent and champion creative endeavour.
The RWA is an entirely independent charity (1070163), and would like to thank Bristol City Council for their support, providing 1.5% of our core budgets (our sole form of public subsidy).
Join the RWA team
Find out how you can make a difference by making a donation towards the project
Creative activity, as part of our Light and Inspiration project, working in partnership with some of Bristol's most vulnerable communities
Share your passion for art through a close relationship with the RWA and its Academicians