After months of renovation there is now a new creative hub in town called ‘Market House Studios’. The new studios are part of the Fleetwood Market complex and are thanks to a grant secured by the Council of £772,085 which is part of a wider £1.22m redevelopment project. Although Fleetwood Market was first opened in 1840 the large Victorian Market House was not built until 1891. It was the home of the Market Manager, his family, and servants. The building has stayed true to its Victorian heritage and in 1990 the market was extended and is now one of the largest markets in the North West of England.
For 25 years the Market House had remained empty but now it has a new lease of life and is ready to make a creative contribution to Fleetwood Market. The Community space will host local exhibitions and other activities including school visits and workshops, attracting a new mix of customers.
Set up by Wyre Council and funded by the Coastal Communities fund, the studios will be managed by a full time Studio Coordinator. The position has been given to Wyre born and Blackpool based artist Adrian Pritchard.
Adrian who has experience of setting up and managing artist studios across the country has exhibited his own work nationally and internationally in both solo and group exhibitions. He began his professional career as an artist in Cornwall in 1998 and has received several awards for his tremendous work. Shortlisted for the John Ruskin Art Prize in 2012; awarded the visitor’s choice at the Neo Art Prize in 2013 and a solo show at the Grundy Art Gallery in 2018 are just to name a few.
As well as running with the day to day management of the Studios; Adrian hopes to raise funds for artist bursaries, residencies, and a radio podcast from the Market. He is also keen to raise money for further studio developments and projects off site within the community.
Adrian says, “The new studios at Market House will provide affordable workplaces for creatives while also building connections between local communities and businesses; opening the door for future developments through the creative industries, artist opportunities and training courses.”
The creative studio space at Market House has been designed to be fully flexible to accommodate most makers/creatives and artists. There is a mix of studio sizes which can be shared by a collective of artists or individuals. It is designed to be affordable for all and will offer flexible working times. The Community Space will be available for short term use and project work – to suit the needs of the artists and community.
Michael Vincent portfolio holder for Planning and Economic Development at Wyre Council says “We are very pleased with the progress so far at Fleetwood Market and the positive change this funding is providing to enhance the area. This is a very exciting time for Fleetwood Market and its progressing art culture as it opens up many creative collaborations between the market and the studios.”
The new coordinator, Adrian Pritchard, is looking for a diverse mix of artists in the hope that they will collaborate and generate new creative skills and ideas. So far, interest has been shown from contemporary artists and digital photographers but with only 8 studios available competition to obtain one is high.
If you are an artist or maker and interested in renting a studio please go to www.wyre.gov.uk/coastlineeconomy to download the application form.
Submissions should be sent to [email protected] or if you would like to enquire please call 07949029569.