Portsmouth's exciting creative quarter Hotwalls Studios welcomes new waterfront eatery The Canteen, from the team behind one of Southsea's best loved tea-rooms The Tenth Hole.
With applications also open for artists looking for studio space in an inspirational setting and new eatery owners on board, Hotwalls Studios is taking shape to open in July 2016.
Dating back to the 15th Century, Hotwalls Studios were previously artillery barracks. Creatively bringing this historic site back to life has been the aim of the £1.75m development from the government's coastal communities fund, and an additional £40k from PUSH and £100K from the council, which will secure the future of this historic monument.
Lucy Branson co-owner said: "We were blown away by the prestigious location and unique opportunity at the Hotwalls. Having established ourselves in the city we were looking to expand, but with a new offer. The Canteen at Hotwalls Studios will be a deli style café, with high quality coffee and freshly baked breakfasts and lunches. In the summer we'll stay open slightly later till 9pm and serve small plates. We're Portsmouth born and bred and what keeps us here is the vibrancy, there's plenty going on but there's also room to grow."
The 13 studios have been created for both new and established artists and offer competitive rates, an enviable position in the heart of Old Portsmouth, as well as nearby eatery The Canteen.
The studios can be used from 7am - 11pm and are available from three months up to three years leases. They vary in size and there is an opportunity to share spaces.
With completely glazed fronts, the studios aren't for shy and retiring types as it is expected the new creative quarter will attract visitors to the area.
Artists who are looking for spaces to create physical pieces are encouraged to apply, and will also be able to sell direct to customers from their studios, applications close on 25 March.
Lucy Branson, Cllr Linda Symes, Bev Lucas (council officer) and Bill Branson
Cllr Linda Symes Portsmouth City Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport said: "We're at an exciting stage of the development where artists can apply for studio space and we've secured a fantastic deli-style café. The studios are a great opportunity if you're either starting out in your career, or already established, and are looking for a place to work from. There isn't another creative quarter quite like Hotwalls Studios, with the unique historic setting combined with fantastic waterfront views. Portsmouth has a thriving creative industry and affordable studios are in demand. It's important to invest in our local talent and make sure this continues to grow. I'm looking forward to this summer's opening."
The studios are within walking distance of Gunwharf Quays and Southsea, and have close transport links nearby.
Local businesses, contractors Mountjoy and architects ERMC, are behind the historic development.
Deniz Beck, project architect at ERMC said: "It is the aspiration of both Portsmouth City Council and Historic England to reinvigorate this landmark location as a vibrant arts and crafts quarter and rescue the structure from further dilapidation. The project has been developed to achieve a harmonious mix of old and new."
Andy Flambard, director of Mountjoy said: “To get the chance to work on the Hotwalls, such an iconic part of Portsmouth’s history, really cements Mountjoy as a local expert and contractor of choice. Working on a scheduled monument and Grade I listed building, within a conservation area and within an intertidal zone is not without its challenges, however with over 25 years’ experience and a specialist project management team, Mountjoy is more than capable. We are also proud to be involved with a project which will be instrumental in creating new jobs within Portsmouth and supporting emerging creative industries.”
To find out more about the studios visit Invest in Portsmouth at www.investinportsmouth.co.uk
You can also chat to someone involved in the project during the Crafts in the Tower at the Square Tower on Sunday 21 February and Sunday 20 March.