THE opening date for a new museum dedicated to a beloved late Inverclyde artist has been announced.

A purpose-built waterfront gallery featuring the works of George Wyllie will welcome visitors from March 28 next year.

Housed in Greenock’s new £20m Ocean Terminal building on the mouth of the River Clyde, the Wyllieum is nestled between the artist’s home in Gourock and his place of work, The Customs House.

The space is home to the largest collection of Wyllie’s works in the world and will host a rolling display of exhibitions and displays of art.

Greenock Telegraph: George WyllieGeorge Wyllie (Image: The Wyllieum)

Alongside a permanent collection display showing items from the Wyllieum’s own collection, The George Wyllie Estate, as well as generous long term loans from private collections, the artworks will be accompanied by a range of ephemera and archival material building a fuller picture of how he worked.

The year-round gallery programme will include two temporary exhibitions showcasing Wyllie’s practice, while also creating a platform for contemporary artistic responses to his work.

Greenock Telegraph:

An exhibition titled ‘George Wyllie: Spires’, co-curated by Wyllieum director Will Cooper and sculptor Sara Barker, will inaugurate the space alongside a series of talks, events and workshops.

Will said: “George Wyllie started making art full-time after a career that included stints in the Royal Navy and 30 years as a customs and excise officer in Greenock.

Greenock Telegraph: George's sketchbooksGeorge's sketchbooks (Image: The Wyllieum)

“His decision to become an artist in his retirement is an inspiration for us all.

“His incredibly diverse artistic output included anxieties about the banking system and the role of European colonists in the formation of modern America.

“Many of his themes have become even more vital over time.

“I am in awe of the dedicated hard work of impassioned supporters who have turned their love for George into the Wyllieum, the first purpose build gallery in the west of Scotland for over a decade.

“I can’t wait to welcome visitors into our building.”

Greenock Telegraph: George WyllieGeorge Wyllie (Image: The Wyllieum)

Born in Glasgow in 1921, George trained as an engineer with the Post Office before serving in the Royal Navy from 1942 until 1946.

He became a full-time artist in his late 50s, pioneering social engaged artwork such as the famous Straw Locomotive – which hung over an empty Clyde as a requiem for Glasgow’s engineering prowess.

His daughter Louise Wyllie said: “It has been a joy to witness fresh energetic people such as new Wyllieum director, Will Cooper, lead on the future of bringing my father’s work to audiences old and new. As a family, we are excited about his plans.

"His family is invested in seeing this cultural space thrive."