East Street Arts joins ambitious City Makers plan for Derby city centre

Earlier in 2020, East Street Arts began work in Derby supporting Creative Space Management on a feasibility study looking at the development of a new maker zone for the city.

Our relationship with the East Midlands’ city began in early 2019 when created temporary art studios in repurposed retail units, working closely with local artists to meet their needs for studio space. This work saw units used for contemporary ceramics and workshops as well providing a venue for FORMAT International Photography Festival.

This highlights our on-going commitment to revitalising high streets through artistic and cultural endeavours, and from there we worked closely with local developers, providing advice on space in large city development plans and consulted with local arts organisations while working with the University of Derby and City of Derby Council to access opportunities for graduates, local artists and makers.

This connection to the city saw use appointed to support the City Makers feasibility study alongside Creative Space Management, supporting Derby’s growth and development as a place for artists and makers to thrive, while pumping life back into a local high street adversely affected by the economic situation.

The plans for the City Makers project are still in development but safe to say it’s an ambitious and visionary proposal. Drawing on Derbys’ rich heritage of innovation and manufacturer, it’s significant array of cultural partners and city centre properties being ripe for development the project aims to create a place for artists and makers to thrive and develop.

In a recent press release, Marketing Derby said, “Derby’s Economic Recovery Task Force has put forward ambitious plans which target vacant retail units in St James’s Street, Market Place and Iron Gate.

“The project aims to encourage makers, artists, designers and those in creative digital businesses to cluster along the route, linking with the development of the new £17m Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill, which forms part of Bondholder Derby Museums portfolio.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Deputy Leader of Bondholder Derby City Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration said: “This will help to reinvigorate the city centre and create a cultural destination for tourists and local communities. St James’s Street and the Museum of Making will provide the bookends for the scheme and the route, signaled through public art installations, will run through the spine of Cathedral Quarter.”

Look out for more updates from us as the project develops! Please get in touch if you’d like to get involved.

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