THE outspoken art critic Brian Sewell has launched a broadside at the borough’s interest in art.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme he took a swipe at the town when discussing the sale of a collection of Chinese porcelain by Croydon Council.

He said that people in “somewhere like Warrington” and Croydon would not appreciate art.

But his call to bring important pieces of artwork under the stewardship of large galleries in the capital have been met with anger from the town’s cultural community.

Emma Kelly, curator at the Gallery at Bank Quay House, on Sankey Street, said: “I don't agree that people in smaller towns don't appreciate art as much as those in a larger city - There are a larger mass of people that visit due to volume of residents and tourists in larger cities but that doesn't mean that smaller towns don't appreciate fine art.

“Warrington is full of creative artists, musicians, performers and writers, our recent Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival highlights that and visitors to Bank Quay House have been at their highest.

"This Friday we have two exhibitions form Warrington artists opening proving that our town is bursting with creativity that can be celebrated by all.”

Warrington itself has a long artistic tradition with the borough’s School of Art high valued in the late 19th century.

Many of the top artists of the time including painters Henry Woods and Sir Luke Fildes, who were regarded as leaders of the Neo-Venetian school studied at the school, which is now Warrington Museum and Art Gallery.

And now with major contemporary exhibitions from the likes of Polly Morgan, along with the museum’s own art collection which includes works from internationally renowned artists such as Jan Van Os, Sir Frank Brangwyn and L.S. Lowry the town’s art scene is as vibrant as ever.