Award-winning housebuilder, The Hill Group has partnered with Gathering Voices to provide the local arts charity with exclusive use of the buildings at the former Park Furnishers site in Bristol in a bid to help support local artists working in the city.
Forming part of the wider Whitehouse Street regeneration, Hill acquired the site in 2020. Since then, Hill have been working in partnership with Bristol City Council and Galliard Apsley to bring forwards a framework for wider regeneration with plans to create a new mixed-use development consisting of new homes, commercial space and new public realm improvements.
“We are delighted to be working with Gathering Voices to help them support local artists by providing a location for such a wide range of creative outputs. With complementary social values, this partnership will help us deliver a lasting, positive legacy in Bristol, delivering much-needed new homes whilst supporting the local community,” said Andy Fancy, Regional Managing Director at Hill.
As the project undergoes the early stages of consultation and development, Gathering Voices has been granted exclusive use of the warehouse on a fixed contract to occupy the old Park Furnishers building. Here, they will be creating Stillhouse Studios, a creative space for established and experienced artists, designers, and makers alike to create textile work and various film, photography and performing arts projects along with creative educational sessions for all ages. Ideas for the external parking spaces include food-based markets and innovative environmental projects to bring wildlife to the site.
“The arts sector has been one of the biggest casualties of the pandemic where creativity and collaborations have had to be put on hold, which has affected our local community initiatives heavily. We are delighted to be working with an empathetic developer like Hill to bring to life our most recent creative space where we’ll be able to offer more opportunities for communities of Bristol,” added Hannah Klewin, Director at Gathering Voices.
With a creative outreach programme designed to bring life back to underused and vacant spaces in and off East Street, Gathering Voices (est. 1985) is an innovative arts charity working primarily with children and young people. The charity also supports adults in music, mentoring, youth leadership and creative projects designed to empower and build community.