Celebrations to launch the £2 million Phase 2 workspaces at Cornwall’s nationally-acclaimed Krowji creative hub may be on pause for the moment – but artists and creative businesses are flocking to occupy the light, bright, newly completed studios.
Undeterred by bad weather and lockdowns, Jewell Construction has delivered the final stage of Krowji’s Percy Williams Building which sees a further 21 studios, linked by a bridge to the £3.7 million Phase 1 building which opened in 2015. They add space for another 40 people to the 200-strong Krowji community of artists and creatives working on the site of Redruth’s Old Grammar School.
Taking the helm is Creative Kernow’s new CEO Dr Fiona Wotton, successor to Ross Williams who retires after 29 years with Creative Kernow steering and developing the Krowji vision over the last 15.
Under Williams’ leadership, the organisation has grown from its beginnings as a popular campaign set up to save Truro’s old City Hall in the 1980s into Cornwall’s key creative sector support organisation with 40 staff and a turnover of £2 million a year.
Dr Wotton joined Creative Kernow’s senior management team at Krowji six years ago after building a successful track record in charity work including management roles with Tate St Ives, the University of East London and Macmillan Cancer Care. She is a director of Cornwall Wildlife Trust and was awarded a Clore Fellowship for the arts and culture sectors in 2018.
She said: “With all the challenges that 2020 has sent our way it is wonderful to be ending the year with the opening of our stunning new spaces and seeing tenants moving in and getting straight to work.
“Krowji is more than just a workspace: it is a living, breathing community of creatives who support each other, collaborate and share expertise on projects that have far reaching impact for Cornwall’s economy, health and wellbeing and social cohesion.”
Phase 2 of the state-of-the-art building has been made possible by grants from the European Regional Development Fund, Arts Council England and Cornwall Council.