Croydon’s first successful “Spacehive” project will see artists have their own dedicated workspace to use as a gallery and to hold exhibitions.
The artist-led group behind the initiative, Turf Projects, has been looking for a place in central Croydon where they can plan and host events as it reaches its second year of running.
They have moved into a previously empty shop in Keeley Road having raised nearly £23,000 so they can use it on a permanent basis.
To help raise the money, they launched their idea on crowdfunding website Spacehive, which helps communities raise money for civic projects.
Thanks to this, and funding from the council and the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund, the group has reached its fundraising target.
The Mayor of London’s £9m High Street Fund aims to make the capital’s high streets even better places to visit, live in and do business.
“Spacehive is a really exciting new initiative where communities can come together and raise money through crowdfunding for civic projects.
“Turf Projects is a great example of how to make this a success, by turning an empty shop into a space for artists to stage their work.
“This is Croydon’s first ever successful Spacehive project, and we hope it will be the start of many more. We’d urge other communities interested in learning more to get in touch.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning
Chairman of the Mayor of London’s Design Advisory Group, Daniel Moylan, said: “The imagination, enterprise and creativity of Londoners shone through in the array of ideas that were put forward to the High Street Fund.
“High streets are no longer about retail alone and I am thrilled that the fund has helped Turf Projects to diversify and unlock opportunities in our most prized urban assets.”
Alice Cretney, founder and creative director of Turf Projects, said: “Turf Projects have been working since 2013 to curate arts projects for the public realm in Croydon.
“It has made a massive difference to us as a charity to reach our fundraising target and to receive this sum of money, which has enabled us this year to open a gallery and workspace on Keeley Road to provide a base for our activities.
“This money will help us support artists locally and nationally by providing exhibition and employment opportunities for them; whilst presenting the Croydon community with a great opportunity to experience and become involved with contemporary art in their locality through free events and workshops.”
The council is keen to support other community groups looking to launch civic projects through Spacehive. Contact Shujah Iqbal email@example.com for details.