Since preparations began for Glasgow to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games there has been a keen interest in the regeneration of the Barras Market. With the development of ‘Barrowland Park’, home to the first public artwork by internationally renowned artist Jim Lambie, and an extensive Shop Front Improvement Scheme implemented across the market area there has been significant investment to ensure a positive legacy of the Games on the historic market.
The ongoing regeneration of the Barras Market has been supported by the Action Barras Calton Development Trust who in February 2014 announced the Barras Vacant and Under Used Floor Space Grant Scheme. The grant scheme, part funded and administered by Glasgow City Council on behalf of The Scottish Government, was initiated to enable property owners to undertake the necessary physical works to bring vacant or underused floorspace back into viable use whilst partnering those property owners with existing creative organisations to help meet the growing demand for workshop and studio space and assist in promoting the market as a hub for the creative industries.
For the past 18 months MANY Studios, currently based in the Merchant City, has been working with a property owner in the Barras Market to develop a successful response to the grant scheme which will relocate the organisation to the immediate East End of the city and within the heart of the Barras Market.
The refurbishment of the 10,000 sq ft ‘Charlie's Market’ building on Ross Street will see MANY Studios relocate in September 2015 where they will neighbour the world famous Barrowlands Ballroom and other local arts organisations such as The Pipe Factory, Barras Art & Design Centre, Market Gallery and David Dale Gallery.
The refurbishment will provide 40 studio spaces for a number of creative practitioners, small businesses and young entrepreneurs as well as the the relocation of The Telfer Gallery, currently based in the Merchant City, artist residency facilitates, a public facing project space, event space, conference suite, hot desking zone and an independent coffee shop.
This particular project is investing £0.5 million into the local economy and during the refurbishment MANY Studios will be creating opportunities for the local community to engage with the project.
The refurbishment has been designed by Glasgow based creative studio Pidgin Perfect who also recently led on the delivery of two new permanent artwork commissions for the Barras Calton as part of VELOCITY - a cultural response to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“I am delighted to see MANY Studios CIC moving to the Barras, they will bring new creative businesses and people to the community as well as supporting the local economy.”Yvonne Kucuk, Action Barras Calton Development Trust
“This project comes at a pivotal time in the timeline of our organisation. Through the redevelopment of an existing building in the Barras Market, MANY Studios will be able to provide more affordable workspace to a diverse range of creative organisations in the city. Our new site will offer a range of creative resources and project spaces which will enable us to work closely with the practitioners we support to help to develop emerging creative practices in line with the regeneration of Glasgow’s East End. We are excited to see how the emergence of high quality, mutli-disciplinary arts practices will work to re-imagine and re-connect the physical and social fabric of the Barras Market through the arts.”Natalia Palombo, Director, MANY Studios