Third group looking for new home due to redevelopment at Mabgate in Leeds

A collective of artists who work from one of the oldest streets in Leeds are having to get creative as they look for a new base.

Saturday, 23rd March 2019, 2:37 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd March 2019, 2:48 pm
Parts of Mabgate are set for re-development.

Based at Mabgate Town Hall, they are the third group within the space of two months that has had to uproot as the building they are in is being sold to make way for redevelopment of that part of the city.

Unit 22 is home to artists, photographers, sculptors and painters with a gallery upstairs that is used for exhibitions but, from next weekend, they will be homeless after eight years as the rent agreement comes to an end.

Now they are searching for suitable premises but say the spread of the city centre to the outskirts means they have to think carefully about where they move to.

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The space used by the Mabgate Town hall collective.

Toby Kilby, 23, is an installation artist and has been living and working in Leeds for four years after having studied at the University of Leeds.

He said: "We are looking at other places to continue the legacy of the town hall but we want to go to the edge of where they will pick next. If we stay in the vicinity there is a chance we will be moved again in the future. It also needs to be somewhere that can house the amount of artists, somewhere we can afford and that we can have longevity - it is difficult to build these month by month."

On Monday, from 5pm-7pm, there will be a series of showcases and exhibitions of the resident artists' work at Mabgate Town Hall as well as a discussion about the move, what the new development might be like and the loss of such spaces to re-development.

Mr Kilby added: "Mabgate as an area has a great legacy of people inspiring each other such as Mabgate Bleach, Temple of Boom, Hope House and Studio 24. Redevelopment of that space fractures that community and that is what is difficult to build."

Mabgate Town Hall.

Previously the Yorkshire Evening Post has told the stories of Koby Dance Studio and a boxing club, run by Nick Manners, which were based in the same block as Mabgate Town Hall. They too have had to move out and in the last couple of weeks have both found a new location.