Successful £3.5m bid to extend and enhance the F.E. McWilliam Gallery

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council announce successful £3.5m bid to extend and enhance the F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio.


One of ten successful Northern Ireland projects from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.


Welcoming the announcement, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Councillor Paul Greenfield said,

“I’m delighted to welcome today’s announcement from the UK Government to support the expansion and upgrade of the F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio.

“The £3.5m funding is a significant investment for Banbridge and our borough, which will positively enhance the gallery as an internationally renowned cultural space.

“Situated along with A1 corridor, the gallery and studio is a major gateway to drive and boost tourism across our borough.”


Commenting on the investment, Chair of the Economic and Regeneration Committee, Alderman Ian Burns said,

“This significant investment will transform our tourism facility, by expanding the exhibition space it will increase visitor capacity and create more engaging opportunities to host events and educational programmes.

“As a council we will continue to deliver on our commitment to improve and enhance our tourism facilities to attract international visitors and develop our borough as a key destination.”


The project is supported by an additional £397,000 investment from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.


The F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio opened in 2008 attracting over 500,000 visitors in its first decade.


The UK government has announced that more than 100 projects will be awarded a share of £2.1 billion from the second round of its Levelling Up Fund.

Catherine McWilliams: Selected Work 1961 – 2021

Catherine McWilliams: Selected Work 1961 – 2021

4 February – 3 June 2023

The F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council are delighted to present Catherine McWilliams: Selected Work 1961 – 2021. For over six decades, McWilliams has produced original and compelling images of life in Northern Ireland. From a self-portrait painted when she was 21 to recent compositions exploring the threat of climate change, her work ranges from the domestic to the surreal and prioritises the experiences of women and children. McWilliams lives in North Belfast, in the shadow of Cavehill, and taught in a local secondary school during the worst years of the conflict. Throughout those decades, her work documented everyday life – from marriage and motherhood to teaching and teenage rebellion – at a time when the media was saturated with images of violence and destruction. Within this context, McWilliams’ paintings of home and the suburban landscape constitute a radical alternative to the dominant view of Northern Ireland during the period.

Initiated by Dr Louise Wallace, Lecturer in Painting at Belfast School of Art, who has co-curated the exhibition with Dr Riann Coulter of the F.E. McWilliam Gallery, Catherine McWilliams: Selected Work 1961 – 2021 provides a unique opportunity to appreciate the quality and range of McWilliams’ practice and confirms her place in the canon of Irish art.


Gallery Opening Hours:

Monday to Saturday, 10:00 – 17:00