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St. Anne’s to Become the New Creative Centre of Town Posted On 30 April 2021

An unused building is getting a new lease of life, becoming the new creative and community hub in Bristol

 

St. Anne’s house, situated just next to the River Avon, served as a 24-hours homeless shelter, but as a result of the pandemic, the inability to put social distancing measures in place has left the venue empty. But it now appears that the former council offices will go to good use again.

That’s because the social enterprise, Bricks, has been undertaking work to convert St. Anne’s into the headquarters for their new venture. Launching in Summer 2021, Bricks states that, over the upper two floors of the building, they will provide artists with ‘Space for community activities and meetings, exhibition and project space for creative projects, workspace for ‘work near home’ (office and desk space rental), and artist studios’.

On top of the physical resources that St. Anne’s will now offer to artists, Bricks will also be programming their own projects, with some of the ideas that have already secured funding including a project for local young people to explore local histories and heritage, as well as ‘Look and Learn’ – a participatory photography and wellbeing project for St Anne’s residents initiated by Josh Adam Jones.

Jack Gibbon, the director of Bricks, spoke of the reasoning behind the whole project, saying, ‘We want to champion Bristol artists’ voices and connect them with the communities they live amongst, supporting creative energy outside the centre’.

He also commented on the need now, more than ever, to provide artists with creative spaces. He added, ‘It may seem counterintuitive to open a venue in the wake of a pandemic, but it is what our communities need: space to come together in a safe way, to connect after periods of isolation, to find new and existing connections. What we are hearing from people is a huge desire to be back in physical space together again’.

Wendy Calder, a member of St. Anne’s Arts Action group, discussed the importance of this addition to the area, commenting, ‘St. Anne’s has such a great community and so many really engaged people, but they have not had a community space to come together in and to support that energy. We hope that through St. Anne’s House we can support some of the great projects in the community to be stronger together’.

To find out more about the areas available to hire out, or even to take a virtual tour around the new space, please visit https://www.bricksbristol.org/2021/04/apply-now-workspace-studios/

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