Should artists priced out of London move to Stoke-on-Trent?

“The project advocates relocation to Stoke-on-Trent to achieve a better quality of life and aims to change the way that the city is viewed. There is a huge amount of creativity and culture in the area and we want to showcase it as a viable, vibrant place to live.”

Anna Francis, Fine Art Course Leader

Artists are being offered the chance to swap one Stoke for another as part of an exciting new project which addresses the increasing cost of living in London.

This week the Campbell Works Arts Centre in Stoke Newington, North West London, will transform into an estate agency showcasing property in another city – Stoke-on-Trent.

'Estate Agency' is the brainchild of Anna Francis, Fine Art Course Leader at Staffordshire University and Director at Hanley's Airspace Gallery. She said: “For many London-based artists and arts organisations, the places and spaces they have been involved in developing for many years are no longer viable and sustainable places to remain due to rising costs.

“This initiative is designed to begin a conversation around what happens to London if the creative workers and artists can no longer afford to live there and what this means for the places that these artists begin to move to.”

From this Friday and throughout the following week, Anna and her team of 'Estate Agents' will endorse property opportunities in Stoke-on-Trent and host a series of discussion events exploring the role of arts and culture in developing cities.

The project is part funded by the UK Arts Council and a research support grant from Staffordshire University. It is also supported by Stoke-on-Trent's 2021 UK City of Culture bid.

Working with estate agency firm Butters John Bee, featured properties include residential, commercial and artist studio provision.

“Stoke-on-Trent is a Midlands city with abundant empty spaces and vacant properties with relatively low sale and rental values.” Anna explained.

“The project advocates relocation to Stoke-on-Trent to achieve a better quality of life and aims to change the way that the city is viewed. There is a huge amount of creativity and culture in the area and we want to showcase it as a viable, vibrant place to live.”

Interested London-based artists will be invited to view Stoke-on-Trent this summer and there will be a further series of discussion events. The project will also make the case for long-term approaches to investing in, and safeguarding, the space for art and culture in the city.

Estate Agency is open from Friday 28 April to Saturday 6 May at Campbell Works, 27 Belfast Road, London, N16 GUN.

Find out more at http://www.estate-agency.org/ and follow the Estate Agency on Twitter @estateagency101

*Estate Agency is designed and delivered by Anna Francis, with artists Rebecca Davies, Nicola Winstanley and community development specialist Penny Vincent. The project is funded by Arts Council England, Staffordshire University and Artcity, and with support from AirSpace Gallery, Campbell Works and Butters John Bee.

Contact

Amy Platts
Multimedia Press Officer
Marketing and Public Relations
L600, Flaxman Building
College Road
Stoke-on-Trent
ST4 2DE
t: +44(0) 1782 292702
m: 07799341911
e: amy.platts@staffs.ac.uk