‘Lock-up’ upgrades finished in Newcastle

Upgrades to the ‘Lock-up’ art space in Newcastle have finally finished.

The Lock-Up at 90 Hunter Street was built in 1861 as Newcastle Police Station and now houses a contemporary art gallery and textile gallery. It boasts one of Australia’s first padded cells which can still be viewed, while the Men’s Exercise Yard is used for book launches, performances, film nights, weddings, and events.

Now, it’s been given a new lease on life with a completed upgrade that will open the space up to even more artistic ventures.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin unveiled renovations worth more than $256,000 to the Lock-up and two adjacent heritage buildings, which delivered new roofs and gutters, fixed cracks and painted walls inside and out to stop rising damp and mould.

“These three historic buildings were under attack from mould which could have become a health issue for tenants and threatened the future of events at the Lock-up if it was left unchecked,” Taylor Martin said.

“The Lock-up is a treasured part of Newcastle’s history that attracts about 15,000 visitors a year and our repairs will allow it to continue providing fantastic spaces for its art galleries, performers, community programs and artist in residence.”

A commercial tenant occupies 74 Hunter Street but 88 Hunter Street is vacant, and the upgrade has made the building compliant for occupancy and more attractive for prospective tenants.