*** The Collage offices have re-opened (appointments only) and some staff continue to work from home. ***
We provide 80,000 square feet of affordable artspaces to creative businesses and social enterprises. One of the UKs most diverse studio complexes.
Collage Arts arrived in Wood Green as squatters in the old sweet factory in Clarendon Road in the 1990s. We then took a lease and began renting out affordable studio and office space to help incubate creative and socially engaged businesses.
Today, Collage Arts continuing to manage five artspaces with plans to continually develop new locations. These spaces are home over 250 artists in 130 studios and a flourishing restaurant and performing arts venue – nearly 80,000 square feet of creative space. Collage Arts prides itself in being one of the most diverse studio complexes in the country.
The artspaces are:
- Artspace 1: Karamel performing arts, gallery and vegan restaurant in Coburg Road and also home to McQueens Theatre
- Artspace 2: in Coburg Road provides 50 artspaces
- Artspace 3: in Wood Green Works on Cumberland Road provides 45 artspaces
- Artspace 4: The community makers space in the Library Mall, home to Studio 306 Collective and food business hub
- Artspace 5: in Clarendon Yard, Coburg Road provides 35 artspaces
The changing landscape
Over the past five years we have seen a significant change in our portfolio. First, our artists spread over more sites. Second the leases we have are much shorter – using meanwhile spaces ahead of them being redeveloped. This currently accounts for 50% of our space by volume. In addition we are often working through third parties which make it hard for us to stay on top of routine main.
The report for the Mayor of London showed that Artist’s Studios are under threat due to:
- Increased price of property and land across London
- Pressure on industrial land
- Demand for similar spaces by workspace operators
- Planning policy
- Business rates:
- Lack of ownership by arts organisations
Many of the pressures highlighted in the Mayor’s report are present within Wood Green. It is important however, that we try to find a way which can see a balanced redevelopment of the area in a way that the Cultural Quarters, contributing to a sense of place in Wood Green. The creative industries are a major source of employment in the area and bring considerable cultural and social benefits too.
The development team at Collage Arts is working closely with Haringey Council, Big Issue Invest and the Creative Land Trust to ensure that artist’s studios continue to be central to the vision for the redevelopment. And because Collage Arts is a non-for-profit – every penny we earn is re-invested into the community. This helps us to provide affordable studio spaces.
During the COVID crisis the Haringey Council has worked really hard to support artists and creative business through and unprecedented period of business interruption.
Collage Works – provides training and enterprise support in creative skills to get people into work or further training – there is a strong emphasis on young people and women and people currently under-represented in the cultural industries or who had their educations disrupted by discrimination.
Collage Voices – provides a creative outlet for young people from 8-18 to explore their ideas and concerns through performing arts, writing and digital media.
Some of the Collage Arts projects in the last 2 years have included: Create Your Future (for economically inactive BAME women), They Came Before Us (heritage project for women of colour aged 18-30) and currently, HIT (Hate Interruption project for young people aged 14-19)