Last month, Islington Mill has been described by the Guardian as “The mothership of Salford’s burgeoning grassroots arts ecology” and they aren’t wrong. Based in Salford, Islington Mill is an ever evolving creative space, arts hub and community. Founded in 2000, The Mill was built on the ethos of experimentation, creativity and inclusivity and these ideals have continued to evolve over the years. Recognised as one of the UK’s leading independent venues, Islington Mill currently hosts 50 studio spaces housing over 100 multi-disciplinary creators, as well as event and gallery spaces, collectively attracting 15,000 annual visitors.
Bill Campbell, Founder and Co-Director of Islington Mill has said:
“The vision for Islington Mill was built on an ethos of experimentation, creativity and inclusivity that has evolved and clarified over the last fifteen years. More than just a physical venue, ours is an attitude and approach that unites not only the local community, but International artists. We are now in a strong position to install our urgently needed roof and create additional residence spaces, developing a hive of creativity.”
After successfully bidding for the Arts Council England’s large scale capital programme, Islington Mill has been awarded a total of £928,000 towards the £2.5 million needed for the renovation and refurbishment plan that will help them to secure a thriving independent future for Islington Mill.
Ian Tabbron, Senior Relationship Manager, Arts Council England said:
“The Arts Council is pleased to be investing in Islington Mill through a capital grant to Islington Mill Arts Club. Islington Mill is an innovator in many important areas of contemporary culture and is also instrumental in helping us understand the development needs of communities who currently face many barriers to participation in the arts. We look forward to working with key
stakeholders, particularly Salford City Council, to help the organisation realise the potential of their building and its many exciting programmes of work.”
As well as installing an urgently-needed roof, the planned renovations will utterly transform the currently derelict fifth floor and attic space to create eight brand new Artist and Maker Residence Spaces that will be the first of their kind in the North West, offering year-round accommodation and workspace for artists from around the world, as well as new large-scale work and exhibition spaces, and new external elevators and building entrances, making the renovated building fully accessible to all.
For two decades, Islington Mill has operated as an independent collective of artists and creative businesses housed in a reclaimed industrial building. The Mill supports its local community with initiatives such as rent-free workspaces for creative start-ups and talent development. Around 1700 artists and makers from around the world have passed through the doors of Islington Mill and launched successful careers. The impact on the region of these spaces will be widespread, helping to further locate the North West as a key focus for international creativity, offering a solution to a crisis in available artist studio space, and most importantly, securing a bright, sustainable and independent future of possibilities for Islington Mill.
To further boost the project, Salford City Council have pledged an additional £400,000 of funding, and together with other benefactors their current funding total comes to £1,765,000. Islington Mill now needs your help to raise £735,000 to unlock these funds.
Become a Temporary Custodian
The first stage of their fundraising campaign will be Maurice Carlin’s ‘Temporary Custodians’ project, a sale of an artwork installation consisting of 100 unique limited edition prints taken directly from the derelict fifth floor surface of Islington Mill. All funds from sales of these pieces will go towards their fundraising total. By purchasing a print, you can directly contribute to the future of the Mill, both by donating money and by becoming a ‘Temporary Custodian’ via the artwork – a special ongoing relationship which enables future dialogue and input into the future of the Mill.
The pieces are available to reserve and purchase at £1000 each. The Islington Mill team encourage everyone interested in becoming a custodian to visit the Mill whenever possible to witness the work being produced in the context of the building. For those unable to attend performances, the production of the work will also be live-streamed online. Using a 5th floor diagram, Maurice Carlin encourages buyers to engage with the production of their pieces through nominating the floor position from which their unique prints will be produced. As imprints of an expansive floor structure, each individual print relates to its immediate neighbour, allowing for pieces to flourish when displayed in clusters.
For a limited amount of time, if you wish to purchase clusters of two or more prints, they are able to offer a 50% discount on the second piece in any pair. Each buyer will receive a silver-foiled certification of purchase and custodianship with their unique artwork, specially designed by Islington Mill artists, Wonder Room.
Islington Mill can frame individual prints for an additional £100. If you would like to arrange a visit to one of their production dates, or to reserve your print please contact Lucy Lloyd-Ruck at email@example.com or 07789 173796.
Other ways you can help
To recognise the diverse spending capacity of Islington Mill’s supporters there are other ways in which you can help support the project.
To complement the main series of full colour Temporary Custodian pieces, Maurice will also produce a limited collection of single-colour mono prints produced at a series of live events at the Mill. To support the fundraising appeal these pieces will be sold at the live events for £50 and will be available afterwards for £100. Please contact Lucy Lloyd-Ruck (firstname.lastname@example.org, 07789 173796) for a PDF catalogue of available pieces.
No matter how big or small every donation will make a huge difference to Islington Mill’s future which is why they have set up a support page so you can make a donation here.
Keep your eyes peeled on Islington Mill’s website for fundraising events, art sales, open days and more to keep the fundraising campaign going and to bring in desperately needed cash.