East Street Arts runs a temporary space programme that allows creative people to use buildings that are currently not let or are waiting for redevelopment. The temporary spaces that we take on are vacant commercial buildings that we make available for creative projects such as temporary studios, exhibitions, workshops, performances and rehearsals. The spaces could be offices, industrial or retail units, former cafes or nightclubs.

East Street Arts have built up a strong team with broad and thorough knowledge of temporary use best practice and we have passed on our expertise to other organisations across the country through partnership working. You can see some of our partners projects on our Creative Partners page.

We believe bringing empty spaces back into use;

• Adds something unique, engaging and spontaneous to our high streets, industrial areas and office blocks
• Provides affordable workspace to support artists to develop new work, test ideas and further their career
• Encourages audiences to access the arts in new ways, outside of traditional and formal spaces
• Generates activity and contributes to regeneration or developments within the area,
• Provides opportunities for a wide range of creative people to make use of space often within their own locality

East Street Arts receives financial donations from property partners for using temporary spaces. These donations are used in the following ways:

• Pays the business rates liable on each property to the local authority concerned
• Provides financial support and development to artists and creative organisations through partnership working
• Facilitates the temporary spaces programme
• Supports the work of East Street Arts
• Assists with the costs associated with using temporary spaces such as repairs and utilities bills

Our first public exhibition took place in 1994 in two empty shop units underneath the railway arches in Leeds city centre and this has been an important part of our work ever since. We have a long track record of many successful projects – so far – occupying over 300 buildings, involving 2500 artists and 10,000 audience members. We are passionate about supporting artists to make work that is part of our everyday lives and impacts on the fabric of society.