Page last updated at 13:55 GMT, Friday, 25 July 2008 14:55 UK

Multi-million arts venue revamp

Ruthin Craft Centre
Ruthin Craft Centre is aiming to be one of Europe's premier arts venues

A four year extension and upgrading of one of north Wales' foremost centres for the arts has been completed.

Almost £4.5m has been spent on Ruthin Craft Centre in Denbighshire and will be opened by actress Siān Phillips.

A purpose built space with galleries, studios and an education suite has taken the place of the old buildings.

Phillip Hughes, the centre's director, said: "It's much more than quilts and knitting - it's an exciting venue, with really large gallery spaces."

The design is a rarity, in that the interior lives up to the expectation of the exterior
Sian Phillips, actress

He added: "The shows we used to put on in Ruthin, virtually every one went on to bigger venues and bigger shows, so we thought: 'Why can't we do that here?'

"We did look at changing the name, but we've built up the name of the Craft Centre for 10 years, and didn't want to waste a lot of money changing it."

The building was designed by architects Sergison Bates, and was made possible by a major capital lottery grant from the Arts Council of Wales.

The Craft Centre will be opened by the actress, Siān Phillips, before a host of well-known figures from the arts world and Welsh culture.

She said: "We must pay tribute to the architects.

"Their design for this building the team is a rarity, in that the interior lives up to the expectation of the exterior.

"This is a great space for the display, study and sale of contemporary craft, and echoes the beautiful, dramatic landscape in which it sits."

Arts funding 'should be flexible'
15 Jun 08 |  Mid Wales
£3.1m for craft centre's renewal
10 Dec 05 |  North East Wales
National art treasures go local
11 Dec 04 |  North East Wales

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