Press Release — 20 Apr 2016

Public invited to join final push to secure art charity’s future as it approaches fundraising target

Edinburgh Printmakers has its eyes fixed firmly on the prize as it announces that 90% of the £11 million required to create a new world-class creative hub for Scotland has been raised.

The charity, a well-established arts organisation in operation since 1967, is appealing to the public to help raise the final £1 million for an ambitious project that will see the development of the former North British Rubber Factory HQ in Edinburgh’s Fountainbridge transformed into a vibrant hub for culture and communities.

The project will save a 19th-century building of significant architectural and historical value from decay and eventual demolition.

Castle Mill Works, a category C listed building, will be transformed into an international centre for the visual arts, specialising in fine art printmaking, and will house a state-of-the-art open access workshop, galleries, education spaces, a deli-wine bar with terrace and art retail area - opening to the public late 2018.

Recent confirmation of a £1,925,764 award from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund to Edinburgh City Council to support Edinburgh Printmakers’ plans now means that a new home for the charity is almost within reach.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Culture Convener, said: “The Council has been hugely supportive of the Printmakers’ plans for a Creative Industries Incubator. It could transform the Castle Mill Works and provide a real boost to the arts in Edinburgh.

“From helping people to discover and connect with their own creativity to providing an employability service specifically for the creative industries, their plans would see this derelict listed building turn into Fountainbridge’s cultural centre.

“I am delighted the partnership working between the Council’s culture and City Strategy and Economy teams and the Edinburgh Printmakers has secured such substantial funding from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Fund.”

Chair of Edinburgh Printmakers, Alastair Snow, said: “The Castle Mill Works building has lain vacant for 10 years and requires complete refurbishment in order to save it. The overall project cost is £11million and we are delighted that we have achieved 90% of our target fund.

“Despite this incredible accomplishment, we still have £1 million to raise. So far, people have been very generous in their enthusiasm and support for the project. Now, we are appealing to the public to help hit our target and to create somewhere really special for everyone to enjoy.”

The Regeneration Capital Grant Fund bid submitted by Edinburgh City Council in partnership with Edinburgh Printmakers, has also cemented the charities ambition to include an additional creative industries incubator hub within a new-build extension housing 18 creative industry spaces.

CEO of Edinburgh Printmakers, Sarah Price explains:  “After a long search for a new home for Edinburgh Printmakers, we set our sights on Castle Mill Works as somewhere to create a contemporary and accessible arts centre offering a year-round public programme of exhibitions, events and learning experiences”.

“Our plans for the building developed - as did our ambition. This significant award from the Scottish Government enables an additional extension to the existing building to house high-quality creative industry workshop and retail spaces that will support an estimated 50 creative industry practitioners. Operating as an incubator we plan to engage with local young people to raise awareness of the career opportunities within the creative industries. This, along with activities within our printmaking workshop and learning and public programmes, will bring life back to the former factory site as well as creating significant economic benefits for the surrounding area.”

The heritage of the building will be a permanent feature within the complete art centre as the legacy of the building is explored through newly commissioned artwork installations, each uncovering the past and creating a conversation between new and old that can continue into the future.

The public can help Edinburgh Printmakers reach the £11m target by visiting www.edinburghprintmakers.co.uk or texting CMWS001 to 70970 to give £5