Printmakers unveil plans for £10m gallery and studio

Castle Mill works will be completely revamped in �10m project
Castle Mill works will be completely revamped in �10m project
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NEW images of how a major arts hub will look once a £10 million revamp is complete have been unveiled.

Leaders at Edinburgh Printmakers – who have also submitted a full planning application – said future premises at Castle Mill works in Fountainbridge would provide the city with a “world-class” exhibition, workshop and education venue.

Due to open in 2018, the abandoned structure – formerly home to the North British Rubber Company – will house a printmaking studio, two fully accessible galleries and a dedicated learning 
space.

The plans, drawn up by Page & Park architects, will see Edinburgh Printmakers move from existing premises in Union Street as part of a wider transformation of Fountainbridge.

Senior figures at the organisation also said they would look to open their archive of print artworks to the public for the first time.

Alastair Clark, studio director, said: “This has been a very creative time for Edinburgh Printmakers planning the transformation of Castle Mill Works and developing the scheme with Page & Park. As the culmination of five years [of] development work, we are thrilled to be at this stage in the project and we are delighted with the design of the plans.”

Mr Clark said that, over the next three years, the centre would exhibit an array of temporary artwork commissions, each responding to the heritage and legacy of Castle Mill.

He said the studio would aim to collaborate with schools, community organisations and residents on creative projects drawing on the local area’s history and traditions.

And as well as a deli-wine bar, the new premises will boast a shop selling artist-limited editions, original artworks and contemporary crafts.

“Castle Mill Works represents a key element in the Fountainbridge master plan,” said Mr Clark. “It is an opportunity to put the visual arts and participation at the heart of community – transforming a much loved, abandoned building into a thriving arts hub and community resource, returning it to a place of production again.”

He added: “We have been overwhelmed with the support from funders and individuals and have secured 80 per cent of the funding.

“We are working hard to secure the final £2m and we will be launching our public appeal in the coming months.”

Community leaders said they were delighted at news of the project’s progress.

Mairianna Clyde, planning spokeswoman for Merchiston Community Council, said: “We all think it’s fantastic and that it could have a good tie-up with the new high school that’s coming. I hope it will be the start of maybe establishing a new identity for the area as a creative quarter.”