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Old October 17th, 2009, 11:06 AM   #1
geordiejon
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Waygood Gallery, High Bridge Studios, Baltic 39, Stand Comedy Club | Newcastle | 5fl | Completed

What are everyone views on the development of the Waygood Gallery on Highh Bridge Street?

The link below gives you are fly through the development :

http://www.waygood.org/redevelopment/index.html

It looks great IMO and will bring new life to High Bridge Street. It is unfortunate that that a soon as something opens on High Bridge- such as the new gift shop near grey Street and the extension of The End something closes- the pub.

Also what about the crap NCC who have messed up the funding for it? And now the Chronic are running stories about how the tax payer will have to pay for it to be finished at the same time money is being taken from schools and hospitals- typical OTT Chronic stories.

I like these cultural developments in the city- espeicially when old buildings are brought back into life- just look at the Baltic and Biscuiot Factory- we seem to be very good at this type of stuff.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 02:44 PM   #2
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this seems to have gone on forever, cant believe it is not finished yet!

on the downside, the art works gallery in the ouseburn, a great venue for local artists, shut down abruptly the other day.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 05:45 PM   #3
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Waygood?, thats Geordie for you, what next, the proper mint developement?
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Old October 17th, 2009, 06:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnypd View Post
this seems to have gone on forever, cant believe it is not finished yet!

on the downside, the art works gallery in the ouseburn, a great venue for local artists, shut down abruptly the other day.
REALLY!!!!Thats a HUGE shame! It was a great gallery too, we actually got our wedding flowers from a business that was located in there, anybody got any details on this as I thought it was a successful gallery!
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Old October 21st, 2009, 09:10 PM   #5
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Artist Topsy Qu'ret claimed he was forced out of job at Waygood Gallery

Oct 21 2009 by Adrian Pearson, The Journal


AN artist was forced out of his job at a troubled art gallery after a row with his “bullying” boss, a tribunal heard yesterday.

Topsy Qur’et told an employment tribunal sitting at Newcastle’s Quayside that Waygood gallery director Helen Smith got him sacked after months of tension.

Matters were said to come to a head when Ms Smith was left frightened and shaken after the artist allegedly stared at her “unemotionally” during a discussion about his role.

Ms Smith was alone in her gallery at the Harkers Building on Shields Road in Byker, working on a private art project, when she said Topsy suddenly approached her and said he was convinced she thought he was not doing a good job. The gallery director said she was very “unnerved” by Topsy as he stood and stared at her and she asked him to leave her studio, but became more unsettled as she realised she was alone with the artist.

She told the tribunal she was intimidated, saying he was “verbally aggressive and seemed determined to stay”. Ms Smith said she started to panic, and raised her voice, saying three or four times she wanted him to leave.

When this did not work, she said that she “started to panic and at that point I completely lost it”.

Asked to clarify just what it was that had upset her, Ms Smith said: “He was just watching me and showing no emotions, watching me panic and there was no sympathy whatsoever.”

Eventually, she told the tribunal, she pushed Topsy by the shoulders and forced him to leave.

This incident was cited as the main moment when the relationship between the two broke down and led to Topsy being dismissed.

He claims he merely approached Ms Smith while he himself was at work to ask about an ongoing contract dispute and was never closer than six foot to his boss.

The 5ft 7in artist says he merely wanted to talk about his job and that Ms Smith became angry with him.

At one point tribunal judge Hunter intervened and said he found it “extraordinary” that Ms Smith would have pushed Topsy away if she felt so scared of him.

Later in the hearing it was claimed one Waygood employee had left the company citing Ms Smith’s management practices in her resignation.

But gallery bosses said the same person had since applied for another job at Waygood.

The tribunal also heard how Ms Smith was also the subject of an ongoing “grievance procedure” following claims of “repeated bullying and aggressive behaviour”. Waygood hit the headlines last month when it was revealed management delays had cost the city council millions of pounds in increased fees.

The tribunal continues today and is expected to conclude tomorrow.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 10:04 AM   #6
Chatton11
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Topsy Qu'ret
Nice name....
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 03:49 PM   #7
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this has been a very trying project..... the management has been "controversial" and have allowed massive cost over-runs to develop, though some of this was beyond their control after a series of structural problems were identified in the elderly building
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Old November 14th, 2009, 05:46 PM   #8
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Artist Topsy Qur'et wins tribunal against gallery

Nov 14 2009 by Amy Hunt, The Journal
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Artist Topsy Qur'et has won his case against Newcastles Waygood Gallery at an employment tribunal

THE boss of an art gallery at the centre of an unfair dismissal claim has been criticised by a tribunal panel.

A ruling by Newcastle tribunal chairman John Hunter described the behaviour of Helen Smith, chief executive of the Waygood Gallery in Newcastle, as “not normal and unpredictable”.

Bosses at Newcastle City Council and the Arts Council, which fund the gallery, are now carrying out a review into Waygood’s future in light of the judgement.

Artist Topsy Qur’et took the gallery to an employment tribunal claiming he was sacked from his post for no reason.

And the tribunal agreed Mr Qur’et was unfairly dismissed, saying he was without blame and that Ms Smith’s version of events was “lacking in credibility”.

Tension between Mr Qur’et and Ms Smith, about whose behaviour two other staff members had also complained, was said to have begun over her failure to give him assurances about his contract with the gallery.

In July 2008 the artist approached Ms Smith in her studio to discuss the issue.

Ms Smith claimed on that day she had felt intimidated by Mr Qur’et, telling the tribunal he had stood still and stared at her “as though he was waiting for her to crumble and crack” until she “lost it”, pushing him out of the room because she was scared.

Waygood’s operations manager Lisa Tolan also told the tribunal she had felt “uncomfortable” at another meeting with Mr Qu’ret where the artist had decorated the room with some plants and a self portrait.

Mr Hunter’s judgement ruled Ms Smith’s case for dismissing Mr Qur’et was “inherently weak”.

It read: “There are many possible reasons why Helen Smith lost her composure and her temper. We heard evidence that she had bullied other staff, the implication being that she was prone to lose control.

“We are satisfied that her explanation that she became frightened of the claimant and fearful for her safety is untrue.

“The evidence shows that they were well-known to each other and at ease in each other’s company.

“That Helen Smith should suddenly develop a fear and distrust of the claimant that was irreconcilable and permanent as a result of the looks he gave her during this conversation is entirely lacking in credibility.” On Lisa Tolan, Mr Hunter said: “We do not believe that she was afraid of the claimant.

“The evidence she gave that he had intimidated her by the tone of his voice in a telephone message, putting plants in a meeting room and displaying a sketched portrait, bordered on the ridiculous.”

After the ruling Mr Qur’et said: “This has been a horrible experience. It is a huge relief to receive this judgement vindicating my claim that my dismissal from Waygood was unfair.

“I have said all along this is an indication of a larger problem. I think questions have to be answered by the board and I think a resignation has to come out of this. Helen Smith herself must now consider her position.”

A spokeswoman for Waygood said: “The tribunal’s analysis agreed with the board’s findings that the relationship between Mr Qur’et and other members of staff had irretrievably broken down and that this was not trivial.

“Waygood takes its responsibility to staff and studio artists very seriously and is disappointed with the tribunal’s ruling that Mr Qur’et’s subsequent dismissal was unfair. Waygood is taking legal advice on the merits of appealing this decision.”

Waygood takes its responsibility very seriously and is disappointed with the tribunal’s ruling
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Old February 18th, 2010, 12:58 PM   #9
Newcastle Historian
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Funding for Waygood Gallery has been axed
Feb 18 2010 by Adrian Pearson, The Journal



A controversial Art Gallery has had its funding axed after city leaders hit out at management "deficiencies".

Bosses at the Waygood Gallery have been told they are unlikely to receive further cash from the Arts Council North East and Newcastle City Council.

The decision comes three months after an employment tribunal revealed claims of failed management practices at the gallery.

Waygood’s senior team were responsible for taking forward a multi-million pound project to open a gallery on Newcastle’s High Bridge.

But the venue’s leadership saw the project hit long delays which saw costs rise by at least £2.7m – and the taxpayer has had to foot the bill.

Newcastle Council last night said the gallery team no longer provided “value for money”.

Despite handing in a new business plan last month, Waygood have been told there is no confidence they can be trusted with public funds after the overall bill went up by £6m.

In November an employment tribunal ruled that gallery chief executive Helen Smith had wrongly dismissed a member of staff who had claimed he was fired for personal reasons.

Following that civic bosses asked for a full review of the gallery’s business plan.

Last night the decision was taken to drop the gallery and find a new partner to run the project.

In a statement Newcastle Council said: “The city council shares the concerns of Arts Council England over deficiencies in Waygood’s strategic and management capability. Also, its capacity to deliver the business plan as highlighted by the independent governance review.

“The plan lacks robustness and does not adequately demonstrate a capacity to deal with risk, future uncertainties or to generate the growth required in the long term to ensure value for public money.

“Therefore the city council has decided that it cannot move forward with Waygood as the operator.

“We will seek to negotiate a resolution with Waygood that will allow us to move forward and make alternative arrangements for operating the gallery and studios.” And Arts Council North East bosses added to the gallery’s troubles.

A spokeswoman said: “The Arts Council have formally notified Waygood that we are considering withdrawing revenue funding from the organisation. This is because we consider that Waygood has failed to adequately address our serious concerns about their governance, business planning ability and capacity to work in partnership.

“We have a duty to carefully monitor the organisations we invest in to ensure that they are performing well and delivering best possible value for the public. It is because we take these responsibilities seriously that we are taking this action.”

A final decision on gallery funding will be made by Arts Council bosses at a regional meeting on March 31.

Last night gallery sources indicated they may have been the “fall guy” for failings elsewhere in the project. The council has previously admitted failings leading to a spending overrun were in part down to their handling.

A Waygood spokeswoman said: “Waygood staff and board are very disappointed to learn that Newcastle City Council and Arts Council England, North East have, at this late stage of a five-year relationship, chosen to not continue to support Waygood. The independent review, which they commissioned, recommended the low-risk option was to work pro-actively to build capacity within Waygood to create a thriving arts organisation on High Bridge.

“Neither have they followed the review’s recommendations to offer immediate business planning support, management, training and assistance with board renewal, despite Waygood complying with the recommendation of change of chair of the board, who has now been confirmed as Ivor Stolliday, previously acting director of BALTIC.”

Newcastle Labour councillor Nick Kemp last night said the decision brought “sad end to a very sad affair”.

He added: “It would seem that there have been significant problems throughout, and now finally the Waygood Gallery face the full blame. I can see no attachment of blame placed at the City Council, which is amazing as they were the project managers.”

Last edited by Newcastle Historian; February 26th, 2010 at 09:48 AM.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 01:49 PM   #10
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Actually it is good news, of a sort. I think this decision is for the best.

Council's statement:

Redevelopment of gallery and studios (part of the Wards Building, High Bridge) and operation of the gallery and studios through Waygood Gallery and Studios



You may be aware from the media of issues surrounding the Waygood project. In the media there is a tendency to confuse what are in fact two separate issues:



1. The capital project which is the refurbishment and redevelopment of part of the Wards building on High Bridge to create gallery and studio space in the city centre; and



2. Management and operational problems within Waygood Gallery and Studios (‘Waygood’) - the organisation we have worked with as the intended ‘operator’ of the facility.



These are separate issues and Council officers have been working hard to try and support and where possible resolve both in recent months.



This email is to advise you of the current status of the capital project, and the latest position regarding the Council’s relationship with Waygood.



After many setbacks and construction problems, the capital project is progressing well, and should be completed at the end of April. There will be a period during which we will need to ensure the building is ready for occupation and then artists waiting for studio space should be able to move in from approximately June onwards.



In terms of Waygood the organisation however, we have decided that we cannot move forward with them as an operator, and that we have to consider alternative operational arrangements for the gallery and studios. In summary, the main reasons for this are:



1. Waygood’s lack of co-operation in addressing the findings of the recent governance review;



2. Concerns about Waygood’s ability to independently plan and manage the gallery and studios and in particular, the robustness of Waygood’s business plan when assessed in the broader context of the organisation’s track record (i.e. the need to maximise the capital asset; the amount of council officer support needed to produce the latest version; the need for the organisation to repay debt in future years; the current financial climate); and



3. We have also received a summary view from the Arts Council that they find the business plan unsatisfactory.



Since forming our view we have also been advised that the Arts Council North East has notified Waygood of its proposal to withdraw its annual revenue funding with effect from September 2010. This is subject to confirmation, but the Arts Council’s intention reinforces the Council’s view. If the Arts Council’s proposed withdrawal of funding is confirmed, then Waygood would find it impossible to deliver even a reduced operation at the Wards building, since one of the main assumptions within their business plan is the availability of ongoing Arts Council revenue funding.



We will be notifying Waygood of our decision today. We will not be seeking to publicise the situation but it could result in more media coverage, and we have prepared a statement in case it is needed.



We will continue to work closely with the Arts Council to find a positive outcome for the Wards building, and ensure its vibrant future as a cultural facility. Our first step in this will be to enable the smooth relocation of artists to the studios and we will be working with Waygood in order to secure this.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 02:14 PM   #11
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the management at waygood come across as a deluded bunch of twits who put themselves ahead of the gallery. good riddance to them.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 12:46 AM   #12
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I've transferred the last four posts (above) into here from the Newcastle Art thread, as they are about the Waygood Gallery.

I had completely forgotten that we had this dedicated "Waygood Gallery" thread!
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Old February 28th, 2010, 03:48 PM   #13
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Thankyou GregStone

I assume you are closely related to Cllr Greg Stone representing North Heaton, as you can post internal NCC memos online, and therefore speak on behalf on the 56 Artists currently based in the temporary Waygood space by Chillingham Road Metro?

In light of Tony Durcan's public statement printed in the Journal on 19 February: "Tony Durcan, head of culture, libraries and lifelong learning at the city council, conceded: “It is not Waygood’s fault that the capital project has cost a lot more money than was originally thought."

I wonder then if you can justify:

1. Newcastle City Council's lack of consultation with the Artists who are the main stakeholders in the project.
2. The lack of alternative plans for a new operators, and the belief that the best thing for the artists is to move back 'in faith' without knowing who their future landlords.
3. The removal of income streams for the gallery and still expect them to operate.
4. The justification of removing the creative and learning programme and public access from a building which cost £10.5million
5. The decision not to work with an organisation who has 14 years experience of managing studios and building relationships with the arts community.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 03:54 PM   #14
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Welcome to the forum, and that is Cllr Greg Stone.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 08:22 PM   #15
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Old March 1st, 2010, 01:01 AM   #16
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I haven't been directly involved with Waygood at any stage so am not able to answer with any particular authority; I would suggest you contact Cllr Pauline Allen who is executive member for culture, leisure, and customer service pauline.allen@newcastle.gov.uk with regard to your specific questions, although in the circumstances you might also wish to address them to the Arts Council.

From my limited knowledge, I would suggest that it has been widely reported that in addition to the structural problems and cost over runs with the capital build project, there were a number of issues regarding management capacity for the operation of the project, which have culminated in both the council and the Arts Council deciding that the current arrangements were unsustainable.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 01:14 AM   #17
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Now, I like Greg Stone, but I also like Anna Quay.

But which is best? There's only one way to find out.....

FIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGHHTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old March 1st, 2010, 10:56 AM   #18
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Inquiry urged in row over Waygood Gallery
Mar 1 2010 by Adrian Pearson, The Journal



CITY council leaders could yet face censure for the failings of a controversial art gallery project.

A Government watchdog has been asked to investigate how a multi-million pound overspend was allowed to be built up on the planned Waygood Gallery on Newcastle’s High Bridge. The council has so far escaped attention as spending chiefs focus on whether or not the gallery’s team mismanaged the project.

Last month both the Arts Council England and Newcastle Council revealed they were pulling funding from the gallery team after it failed to come up with a business plan that they regarded as satisfactory.

Waygood chiefs have been at the centre of criticism since it emerged last year that more public cash would have to be put into the plans for a flagship city centre gallery after a catalogue of errors and delays saw other funding sources dry up. An internal report into the project management saw Waygood’s board and chief executive criticised. It came hot the heels of an employment tribunal which revealed chief executive Helen Smith’s “unpredictable” behaviour.

Now Newcastle councillor Nick Kemp has written to the Audit Commission urging it to send in investigators to look into what he says is “the latest example of failed regeneration” in the city.

In his letter, the Labour man claimed the Lib Dem-controlled council had shown “a lax attitude” and “exercised financial mismanagement”.

He called for an urgent inquiry “to understand how such significant delays and overspend has been allowed to occur”. Mr Kemp claimed he called in the watchdog because he believed the council had allowed Waygood to lead the project despite a lack of a credible business plan.

The councillor, who heads the authority’s regeneration scrutiny committee, asked: “How can the city claim to be committed to the project when it is clear that it is a total failure of project management from the city council which has created this situation?

“And what is even more galling is the manner in which the city has sat back and allowed a locally grown arts organisation, the Waygood, to take all responsibility when it is clear that they themselves have been fundamentally failed by the council..”

Mr Kemp said he believed the council had let down the Waygood, but failed to address its own failings. However, Tony Durcan, head of Newcastle Council’s culture, libraries and lifelong learning section, said the Arts Council and city council were committed to ensuring the successful opening of the gallery and studios “which will be a fantastic new asset to the city, the region and the visual arts community”.

He added: “The city council acknowledges that due to a series of unforeseen circumstances relating to the complexity of the scheme, there have been time delays and increased costs.

“But we are working hard to make sure that those artists expecting to move into the new studios are provided for at the Wards Building while we address the wider operation issues relating to the building.”
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Old March 1st, 2010, 05:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigLebowski View Post
Now, I like Greg Stone, but I also like Anna Quay.

But which is best? There's only one way to find out.....

FIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGHHTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Glad there's another Harry Hill fan in the house!
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Old March 1st, 2010, 05:54 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Chatton11 View Post


Glad there's another Harry Hill fan in the house!
Make that THREE!

("Burp" . . . )
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