Political Seal of Approval for Krowji’s Creative Workspace Development
MP George Eustice dropped in on the Krowji creative workspace hub for an early view of the £3.7 million development of two new landmark buildings alongside Redruth’s old grammar school which will see the nationally-acclaimed centre double in size.
Krowji already provides sought-after workshops and studios, clustered around the popular Melting Pot Café, for around 100 people working in the arts and creative industries. The new state-of-the-art workspace – due to be completed next Spring - will raise capacity to 200.
The Camborne, Redruth and Hayle MP - a long-time supporter of the Krowji vision - says, ‘‘I was really pleased to see work underway on the site and I know Ross Williams and his team have worked tirelessly to get this plan off the ground.
“Cornwall has always been a hugely creative place and I was happy to push various government departments to realise the value of getting this done. I look forward to seeing new individuals and organisations take advantage of this development.’’
Krowji’s Ross Williams showed George Eustice the ongoing land preparation and demolition works by Cornish firm CGS Contractors of the derelict 1970s staff-room, dinner hall and gym which will pave the way for the airy new buildings with top eco-credentials which will look across five miles of countryside to the North Cornish coast. CGS is working alongside St Day construction firm RM Developments to deliver the building project.
The development scheme was based on a known need for the type of creative working environment that Krowji provides – and an enviable waiting list of prospective tenants. The Krowji team, working with project managers Vickery Holman, produced the rock-solid business plan for expansion which clinched £3.7 million of funding – both privately sourced and from the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme
Ross Williams comments, “Developing our plans for Krowji has been a long and sometimes tortuous process – partly because it’s taken time to convince policy makers and planners that people working in the arts are part of the real economy.
“I think George has always seen beyond that issue – from his point of view we’re a Cornish enterprise, investing our own money and that of other local investors in high-quality new buildings that will help the economy of Redruth and the wider area. It’s been really good to know his support was there when it mattered, helping to move things along.”
The Krowji project , which is bringing livelihoods and increased prosperity to this part of Cornwall, is of personal as well as professional interest to George Eustice: he was born and brought up in Cornwall and the Eustice family have lived and worked in the Redruth and Camborne area mining, engineering and farming for more than four hundred years.
To find out more about Krowji, its work and partners, as well as progress on its flagship building project please visit www.krowjinewbuild.org.uk .
Notes to editors:-
- Krowji work-spaces come in all shapes and sizes and currently provide space for more than 100 “makers” and creative businesses – from tiny rooms where Anna Pope creates her delicate contemporary jewellery, to Marie Louise Denny’s sunlit designer-knitwear studio, to Miracle Theatre’s large rehearsal room.
- Others who have found a permanent home in the Krowji family include Miracle Theatre, as well as Cornwall’s key arts-sector agencies - Creative Skills, FEAST and Carn to Cove.
- Krowji space is affordable but not subsidised. Most of the tenants who have moved in have stayed - not surprising given the wealth of support on hand – from photocopying to business advice.
- Krowji has been passionate about forging and nurturing strong links with its wider communities. Through the years Krowji has worked closely with Cornwall Council, Camborne Pool Redruth (CPR) Regeneration and a wide variety of people and organisations to create a vibrant centre where people can come and go freely for coffee, meetings, live music nights and the hugely popular biannual Open Studio events.
- Krowji Phase I is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs.
For more information visit:
ERDF Convergence: £1,914,264.
For more information visit www.erdfconvergence.org.uk
Krowji - Elisa McLeod - 01209 313200
Louise Midgley Communications – [email protected] – 01326 319884 / 07831696093
ERDF Convergence – Matt Silver – [email protected] - 07805737444
Wednesday 18 June 2014