Fleetwood is in the market for creatives

Linda Hampton reveals news of the Market House Studios for arts practitioners, above Fleetwood Market.

Last year Wyre Council invited local creative practitioners to view the mysterious upstairs rooms over Fleetwood Market. I went along with a posse of my peers to have a peek into spaces that hadn’t been touched for decades. Over two floors the rooms, dating back to 1891, were spacious, although filled with detritus from years of storage, with peeling walls and cracked windows. The exciting news was that major funding had been obtained from the Coastal Communities Fund to transform the building into versatile work spaces and studios for local creative artists.

Back in 2019 the architect solicited our opinions about how best to revamp and refurbish to suit the needs of the arts community and we verbalized our visions for exciting possibilities.  It was a rare and dreamlike opportunity in times when funding for the arts is so often hard to find.

Fast forward to late summer 2020 and the renovation is now complete. The new creative hub has been named ‘Market House Studios’, and Wyre born and Blackpool based artist Adrian Pritchard has been appointed as full time Studio Coordinator. Adrian, who has experience of setting up and managing artist studios across the country, has exhibited his own work nationally and internationally.  He has received several awards including being shortlisted for the John Ruskin Art Prize in 2012 and awarded visitor’s choice at the Neo Art Prize in 2013. More recently, he brought his art back home for a solo show at the Grundy Art Gallery in 2018.

Adrian Pritchard

As well as managing the Studios, Adrian hopes to raise funds for artist bursaries, residencies, and a radio podcast from the Market, plus further studio developments and projects off site within the community. The venue will provide affordable workplaces for creatives while building connections between local communities and businesses. Opening doors for future developments through the creative industries, artist opportunities and training courses, this community space can host local exhibitions, school visits and workshops to attract a new mix of customers.

The fully flexible creative venue comprises a mix of studio sizes which can be shared by a collective of artists or individuals. It also offers flexible working times and is available for short term use and project work. Adrian is looking for a diverse mix of artists that he hopes will collaborate and generate new creative skills and ideas, but with only 8 studios available competition to obtain one is high.

Market House Studios, a 21st Century incarnation for the building, brings the dawning of a very special time for Fleetwood Market and its progressing art culture and local arts practitioners can seize this chance to apply to be a part of this transformational time in the history of the town.

So if you are an artist or maker interested in renting a studio please go to www.wyre.gov.uk/coastlineeconomywww.wyre.gov.uk/coastlineeconomy to download the application form.

Enquiries should be sent to [email protected]

For enquiries call  Adrian on 07949029569.

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  • Kate Hudson

    Sounds wonderful – lucky Fleetwood!

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