We have been working hard to secure Leeds Print Workshop’s future during the current pandemic. Our Vicar Lane studio has always been a temporary home for us which is in an area earmarked for redevelopment and, with the lease due to expire in December this year, securing new premises was already at the top of our agenda. Whilst Vicar Lane has been a great location for us to establish our organisation (thank you to East Street Arts and Hammerson for making that possible), it’s time for us to find a more permanent home.
We’re pleased to announce that we have been able to utilise the time that we have been closed during lockdown to bring forward a premises move and relocate to a fantastic new workshop space housed at Patrick Studios, on St Mary’s Lane, just a 10 minute walk from where we are now. This is East Street Arts’ main city centre studios and arts hub. The new premises affords us many benefits, including the ability to run courses and open access at the same time with more availability for members, an accessible workshop with a lift and disabled toilet facilities, the ability to continue offering affordable memberships and courses, a more secure and warmer building and opportunities to work with a wider range of audiences in the future to develop the organisation and improve our engagement with diverse groups. The new venue will have the same amount of space as well as access to an additional learning space and will house all of our printmaking equipment along with some new additions of kit!
We are starting the preparations for moving imminently with a view to completing the physical move over the next couple of months but this may take some time as we practise social distancing and work in shifts with our staff and volunteers. We are aiming to reopen to members in September and will share our progress as we have more news. It’s likely we will still need to practise social distancing when we reopen in the new space so we may have to make some changes to the way we run open access and courses but this will be reviewed and communicated nearer the time.
Arts Council Grant
Having to close our facilities due to Covid-19 has had a huge financial impact on us. We’re pleased to announce that we have been successful in securing some emergency funding from Arts Council England, made possible by The National Lottery. This is some much needed financial relief for us over the next few months, it will also help us to facilitate the move and secure our future. Thanks also to East Street Arts for their support in making the premises move possible.
We recognise that we haven’t been able to provide facilities for our members for a significant period of their memberships. We are currently working out how best to ensure we treat our members fairly and will be extending memberships for the period of time we are closed but will have further information on this when we are ready to reopen in the new space.
We really appreciate the continued support of our members during this challenging time and we can’t wait to see you all again when we reopen in the new workshop space!