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Thursday, 12 October, 2000, 03:35 GMT 04:35 UK
Royal opening for Lowry centre
The Lowry
Salford's new Lowry centre cost 106m to build
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are to open Manchester's new multi-cultural arts centre, The Lowry, on Thursday.

The 106m art and theatre centre in Salford Quays was opened to the public by Culture Secretary Chris Smith in April.

It houses the world's largest collection of paintings by LS Lowry, Salford's most famous son, rescuing many from a cramped basement in the city's art gallery.

LS Lowry
LS Lowry: Famous pictures of matchstick men
The centre, which includes two theatres, an interactive gallery and cafes, art shops and restaurants, has been built in what used to be the heart of Salford's dockland, an area of massive industrial decline.

It is hoped it will lead to the regeneration of one of the UK's poorest cities.

Mr Smith said it was "a major centre for the performing arts which will provide jobs and help regenerate the area socially and economically".

Landmark

A total of 55 paintings and 278 drawings by Lowry, famous for his matchstick figures, will be rotated at the centre and up to 100 will be on show at a time.


Going to the Match is one of Lowry's best-known works
Among them is Going to the Match, which broke the record for modern art when it sold at Sotheby's for 1,926,500 last December.

The Lowry is the first of several landmark projects aimed at regenerating the area.

It is hoped it will attract more than two million people a year.

The centre's construction has benefited from about 54m from the Arts Council and the Millennium Commission, but it now depends on ticket sales to keep it afloat.

All the theatre productions will be staged by touring companies to avoid the costs of maintaining a theatre company.

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28 Apr 00 | UK
Lowry gallery opens
27 Apr 00 | UK
Salford's most famous son
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