Snapping up Creative Space at Krowji - New studios draw the arts community
Almost half of Krowji’s unique new studios and flexible workspaces have been snapped up along with fifty serious expressions of interest as people working in the arts and creative industries get the first chance to see the light and airy eco-building with phenomenal views taking shape on the Redruth hill-top site.
A series of guided tours are giving visitors the first real impression of the scale and grandeur of the landmark £3.7 million development, due for completion in May, which sits alongside Krowji’s nationally-acclaimed creative work hub in Redruth’s Old Grammar School.
For a decade Krowji has provided affordable workspace for more than 100 artists and creative businesses with the famous Melting Pot Café at its heart: with demand ever increasing the fifty additional “spaces” in the new building will more than double Krowji’s capacity.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by people’s reactions to our new space – and their eagerness to sign up for it when it’s still five months off completion,” says Krowji Studio Manager Elisa Harris. “We’ve been watching this amazing building come out of the ground for ten months, but most of the people on our guided tours were seeing it close up for the first time and it certainly has that “wow” factor.
“To see its height and the huge windows and enormous views over miles of Cornish countryside and sea from Carn Brea to the North Cornish coast is really impressive and I think it gave people the chance to imagine themselves being energised in their work by a truly inspiring environment.”
Among more than 20 tenants who have already signed up and chosen their spaces in the new building are historic textile conservator Deborah Mecklenburgh and award winning graphic design agency THStudio which has outgrown its current space in the old grammar school building.
Deborah Mecklenburgh loved the idea of the new space on paper and knew as soon as she saw the building that it was ideal for her needs.
“It’s a combination of things – from the easy access and size of the studios to the fact that they are purpose built and secure with wonderful light and views and in a clean, dry natural environment,” she says.
“I also love the fact that I’ll be able to work quietly in my own space – or head to the cafe and talk to any number of like-minded, creative people – all doing different, interesting things. It’s very difficult to find all these things in one space – and to know that the contracts are flexible and if you needed to leave for any reason you could do so quickly and easily.”
Tim Hendy and his graphics’ colleagues of THStudio moved into Krowji in 2011: “We love being part of the Krowji community and our clients really like the quirkiness, heritage and architecture which are all great conversation starters.
“The place couldn’t be further removed from other bland, sterile office environments and we’re so glad that as we grow we can stay within this community but spread ourselves into some rather fabulous new space.”
For ten years Krowji has been welcoming in all those involved in cultural work with multitudes of artists and jewellers, ceramicists and craft workers rubbing shoulders with actors, writers and Cornwall’s key arts-sector agencies - Creative Skills, FEAST, Carn to Cove and Cultural Cornwall365.
With space in this unique community in high demand the Krowji team set about planning an ambitious expansion – founded on a rock-solid business case - which won backing both from private sources and the European Regional Development Fund’s Convergence Programme.
To find out more about Krowji, its work and partners, as well as progress on this flagship building project visit www.krowjinewbuild.org.uk . To arrange a visit or for more information about renting the new workspaces, including details of Krowji’s “Earlybird Discount Scheme” which runs until the end of January 2015 email [email protected] .
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 the tiny room 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 Cornwall’s key arts-sector agencies - Creative Skills, FEAST, Carn to Cove and the new cultural tourism initiative, Cultural Cornwall.
- 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 Harris - 01209 313200
Louise Midgley Communications – [email protected] – 01326 319884 / 07831696093
ERDF Convergence – Matt Silver – [email protected] - 07805737444
Friday 16 January 2015