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Project information

Nourishing Inspiration and Creative Talent

Practical support for artists extending their creative portfolio, in the fields of visual arts, dance, drama, literature, music and cross-cutting genres. Providing serviced premises at reduced rates; promoting networking and collaboration; building creative flows with the creative business sector.

Expected to pilot in mid-2013, be tested by end 2013, ready for 2014 roll-out

Charity information: Arts Gateway Milton Keynes

Arts Gateway Milton Keynes logo
  • Need


    Young and emerging artists need peer support in developing their busineses, need facilities in which to operate, and networks within which to thrive, explore and collaborate. All are under-provided and should be made more accessible.


    We will provide the infrastructure to support creative enterprise. We will develop dedicated premises in temporarily available commercial space; we will provide programmes of targeted business support; we will support and extend new networks for new groupings of artists; we will explore new collaborations and new groupings of artists; we will build links between local arts practitioners and local creative businesses.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide nourishing workplaces for young, and aspiring artists and creatives.


    » Lease commercial premises.
    » Convert and configure to provide creative spaces that meet needs.
    » Manage premises and occupiers to produce a creative community.
    » Promote programmes, performances and exhibitions that demonstrate collaborations.

    What success will look like

    Workspaces and studio space will be provided for creatives, in a model that can be transferred to other locations, scaled-up, and measured.

    Aim 2

    Provide pathways between arts practitioners and creative business.


    » Identify through HE, FE, business and arts communities the pathways to be strengthened between arts and business.
    » Initiate and support regular networks of young and emergent creatives, particularly those not in paid employment.
    » Develop collaborative projects across the creative business sector and the arts community.

    What success will look like

    New networks will highlight the unmet needs, and projects that will meet those needs. Creative businesses will engage in new collaborations

    Aim 3

    Provide new platforms for creative performance.


    » Develop and pilot projects that draw in new performers, new audiences, or both.
    » Reintroduce an artists-in-residence programme in schools
    » Introduce an artists-in-residence programme for the elderly and cared-for.

    What success will look like

    Delivery of arts sessions in schools, care and residential homes, and delivery of our own programme of events in our own and others` premises

  • Impact


    There will be a long-term legacy of work from arts practice and activities within our premises; there will be a cohort of art practitioners more confidently setting out on their practice and continuing successful production; there will be an expectation that even temporary premises can be nourishing places if cleverly configured and properly run; and there will be a community of creative businesses used to collaborating with artists.


    Premises risk from insecurity of tenure. [-mitigation from developing a "transportable configuration" that can be moved to new premises];
    Revenue risk, from artists having little or no money.[- programme will be moderated to reflect available resource];
    Partner risk from inconsistent interest among creative business. [-mitigation from involving businesses in devising the proposition]


    Monthly digital newsletter covering this and other updates; invitation to key events; specific briefings if requested.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £30,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £10,000 premises prep specialist furniture and equipment
      £5,000 premises admin maintaining allocations, payments, bookings, notifications,
      £5,000 artist residencies 10 placements at £500
      £5,000 network costs service 50 meetings; seedcorn funding
      £5,000 training programme day-courses and seminars
  • Background


    The project will be based in and around Milton Keynes. The targeted premises are at Central MK station and so widely and conveniently accessible. Artists-in-residence and networks may take place across a variety of venues in the SE Midlands sub-region


    People practicing, or hoping to practice arts in any or several of its forms; creative businesses seeking employees; schools and colleges seeking pathways to employment for their students; young people needing to broaden their creative and work experience, and considering the creative economy; people wanting to volunteer in the creative economy; audiences for the resulting collaborations.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Arts Gateway MK, and our predecessor MK Arts Association, has 30 years experience as an umbrella for local creatives and artistic practitioners. We are a volunteer-led charity deploying volunteer energy to support professional development. We have a pool of experienced creatives able to offer mentoring, peer support and specialist input to those starting out. We have an extensive online and social media folllowing locally, and are a recognised source of information on the MK arts scene.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    John Best, Chair

    Initiator of the project, providing oversight to delivery and contacts to expedite delivery


turns a young artist`s corner into a creative nest

Now more than ever, young aspiring artists need a helping hand. An affordable workbase within a supportive community is a great gift.

John Best, Chair of Trustees, AGMK