Up to 43 studios will be created at the former Spode Factory in Stoke-on-Trent as part of a £700,000 scheme to transform the city’s historic building into an artists’ hub.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council, the site’s freeholder, has provided £283,000 towards the regeneration project, the educational charity ACAVA (Association of Cultural Enhancement through Visual Art) has given £173,000, while £245,000 has been received from Arts Council England.
The scheme will create studios of varying sizes, providing workspaces for artists and designer makers in the the Stoke area.
Councillor Ruth Rosenau, the city council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This is an exciting step forward but it is just part of our vision to regenerate the former Spode Works and establish a creative village within the site.
“Our plan involves regenerating not just the China Hall where these excellent studios will be based, but bringing the rest of the site back to life with a range of uses which will benefit and breathe new life across the town as a whole.
“We have been working closely with Arts Council England and ACAVA, and are very pleased they have chosen to support this project, which I believe shows we are on the right track with our vision for the site. With space for 43 artists’ studios, it will be the largest facility of its kind in the city.”
The city council bought the former factory site in 2010, two years after the building closed. Work on the new studios is expected to start in May.
Arts Council England investment
Arts Council England’s contribution to the Spode Factory site redevelopment forms part of £1.6m of recently announced investment across the Midlands region, from Stoke-on-Trent to Northamptonshire.
Among the organisations who have been awarded capital funding are QUAD in Derby (£119,962 towards digital accessibility) and The New Art Exchange, Nottingham (£490,000 to convert a disused library building into a creative space for local residents).
The money comes from the National Lottery-funded small scale capital programme, which goes towards cultural organisations’ buildings.
Peter Knott, Area Director at Arts Council England, said: “We are investing in some really exciting projects across the Midlands, and it will be great to see this funding make a difference to local communities, whether that is through the creation of new facilities for people to use or by supporting the local creative economy.”