ProjectsHCLT Projects In Development
Artists and Makers Quarter
Artists and Makers Quarter,
Berrington/Aubrey Streets, Hereford
In the Summer of 2021, we obtained a grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund to undertake a detailed survey and costings on a building that was then up for private sale in Aubrey Street, with a view to turning it into thirteen artists and makers workspaces together with communal facilities, along with two one-bedroom flats which were to be let at ‘affordable’ rents. This was with the intention of applying for funding from a fund launched by the Arts Council to support the creation of just such facilities for artists in locations scattered across the country, albeit without the accommodation we proposed.
Unfortunately, we failed to secure funding for two reasons. One was the cost, and though we did obtain a reduction of circa £100,000 in the asking price of the building, the costs would have still been difficult to cover even with a large Arts Council grant. The second was that the Arts Council ideally wanted to invest in buildings that were already owned by a body that was seeking to improve them.
We are currently engaged in discussions with Julian Owens and Citizen housing association (Kemble housing association/WM Housing as was) regarding the Bingo Hall site in Berrington Street and redeveloping that to turn it into a mixture of affordable housing and artists and makers facilities, perhaps with also an expansion by Rural Media whose offices are next door.
David Ubaka, the council officer responsible for managing the process for updating the Hereford masterplan, has commented that he finds the idea of an Artists and Makers Quarter “very interesting and we will see where it can fit into our thinking especially in combination with the new University“ and “that we will ensure that your organisation is put onto the list of external key stakeholders for us to engage with you going forward.” The University has also expressed a desire to work alongside us as they see the benefits of such a Quarter with useful development of skills given the close proximity of various potential facilities.