Leeds Art Hostel to expand in new Mabgate home

NEW VISION: Art Hostel manager Rhian Aitken and Nicola Greenan, outside of New York Studio.
NEW VISION: Art Hostel manager Rhian Aitken and Nicola Greenan, outside of New York Studio.
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ARTISTS from around the world will soon be able to stay in one of the most creative corners of the city after a social enterprise gained funding to set up a new art hostel.

East Street Arts will expand its creative hub in Mabgate to provide a permanent home for its Art Hostel project, which was initially set up in 2016 in Kirkgate as a temporary pop-up.

Now, after securing a combination of £570,000 investment from Unity Trust Bank and Key Fund, it will start work redeveloping its New York Studios base to create a vibrant place for visiting artists to stay and work.

The planned creative centre will also include a new art and tech hub – Convention House – funded by a £400,000 Arts Council England grant.

The new Art Hostel will open in early 2019 and will be bigger than the current iteration, which has welcomed 9,813 guests from 115 countries.

A social enterprise, it is primarily run by volunteers with 34 beds in private, twin and shared dorms. The new hostel will offer more than 40 beds.

Nicola Greenan, external relations director at East Street Arts, said: “We have long championed Mabgate and are absolutely delighted to bring the Art Hostel to the area next door to our home at Patrick Studios.

“Our vision for the original hostel was to create affordable accommodation in the city for creatives and tourists alike and we’re extremely pleased with how successful it’s been.

“Through our work there, we actively promote Leeds’ cultural underbelly and DIY art scene – this is something we will continue in the new space at New York Studios. We’re very excited to work with a new group of artists to develop the property.”