Great News!

We been successful in our bid to Arts Council England’s small capital fund to buy and refurbish Exchange Place Studios. We have an additional fundraising target of £15,000 so look out for a range of exciting events and activities over the next year.

We have also secured Arts Council England NPO funding through to 2022. Without NPO funding we wouldn’t be able to run any of our programmes or develop new studios and raise the profile of our artists and our organisation, so this is really important to us.

Exchange Place Studios is a 6 storey building in the historic Castlegate area of Sheffield, built in 1926 as a showroom and news depot for WH Smith. The attractive main façade is clad in art deco faiençe tiles.

In 1967 the building underwent a major refurbishment to provide offices and public spaces for the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive - the original wooden sash windows and cast-iron spandrels were replaced with steel-framed glazing and most of the open floor plans divided up.

In 2013, Yorkshire Artspace signed a 5 year licence to occupy to the building. Just before the agreement began, metal thieves stripped most the electrical wiring and plumbing and smashed most of the sanitary ware. A £36,000 refurbishment, largely to subdivide larger spaces in to smaller studios, turned in to a £200,000 project, funded through a rent-free period from owners Sheffield City Council and Yorkshire Artspace’s own earned income from the studios as they were let.

Within a tight budget we have worked hard to find ways to improve both the performance, functionality and attractiveness of the building, once it has been acquired on a 100-year lease. We will;

  • replace the existing roof and skylights
  • replace the 1960’s steel-framed single glazed windows and spandrels, and reinstate some elements of the original 1920s glazing scheme in the new design
  • preserve the faiençe façade with the repair of cracks and gentle cleaning where required
  • clear and improve public access to the project spaces
  • provide out-of-hours wheelchair access to the studios
  • improve the look of corridors and stairwells

Work will start on site in Spring 2018 and be completed by the end of the year.