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History

HISTORY:

2003 –

  • “The lack of low cost studio space makes it particularly difficult for individuals to make the leap from semi-professional artists to fully-professional artists”. (July 2003 ‘Study of arts and heritage sector’ for West Sussex County Council and Chichester District Council by Sussex Arts Marketing).

2006 –

  • A group of local artists, recognising the need for arts facilities and aware of the 2003 report from WSCC and CDC, come together informally in response to proposed redevelopment of Graylingwell by English Partnerships.
  • First public forum, and investigation of alternatives to Graylingwell.

2007 –

  • set up as ‘studios4artists’, a not-for-profit Ltd Company, in May 2007.
  • 2nd public forum.
  • Investigation of the possibility of ‘incubators’ on the University’s Bognor Campus.
  • Negotiations with English Partnerships, Linden Homes LLP and Chichester District Council for the provision of specialised studio, workshop and gallery facilities on the Graylingwell re-development.
  • Started developing credible business plan for Graylingwell.

2008 –

  • Successful in getting into Chichester District Councils’ LDF.
  • Viewed various possible temporary spaces.
  • Negotiations with ‘Futurecity’ over Graylingwell Arts strategy.

2009 –

  • Company changed its name to ‘Unity Arts Trust’ in Aug ’09.
  • Successful in getting studios into the Section 106 planning conditions for the re-development – “1500 sq meters for artists studios”.
  • Graylingwell’s ‘Community Development Trust’ formed as Charity.
  • Entered discussions with CDC over setting up a pilot on St James Industrial Estate, and fundraising campaign to raise sufficient money.

2010 –

  • April – Moved into the pilot space in St James.
  • Graylingwell’s building phase 1 starts.
  • May – fist Open Studio event. 160 people attended. coinciding with Chichester Open Studio Art Trail. www.chichesterarttrail.org
  • July – exhibiton at Oxmarket Gallery in Chichester. Attended by 670 people. Artists present 100% of the time to answer questions and talk to visitors.
  • October – started up the Mentoring scheme in Community Education and the ‘shadowing’ scheme. Other educational and community-based activities at the Graylingwell Park development and at Donald Wilson House, St Richards Hospital, involving particular sections of the public
  • November – second Open Studio event; attended by 150 people. Coinciding with the National Open Art Exhibition www.thenationalopenartcompetition.com at the Minerva Theatre

2011 –

  • Shadowing and Mentoring scheme completed.
  • May – Open Studios. 550 visitors and sales of work £1,200. coinciding with Chichester Open Studio Art Trail. www.chichesterarttrail.org
  • July – Ran Art Tent at the Graylingwell Garden Party.
  • November/December – Open Studios. 200 visitors and £2,000 sales. Coinciding with the National Open Art Exhibition www.thenationalopenartcompetition.com at the Minerva Theatre
  • December ’11 – formed as a Community Interest Company – Unity Arts Trust C.I.C. (community interest company no: 6256028) – no sharholders, not-for-profit, in the event of the CIC closing all assets to be passed to a named charity. 
2012 -
  • February – 2 week exhibition at the Oxmarket Center of Arts.
  • April – Matt Roberts Arts professional development event – mentoring and public lecture.
  • May – Open Studios. 850 people attended, and sales of £1,200. coinciding with Chichester Open Studio Art Trail. www.chichesterarttrail.org
  • July – Ran the Art Tent at the Graylingwell Garden Party.
  • Dec – Open Studios. 60 people attended.

2013 -

  • May – Open Studios. 640 people attended, coinciding with Chichester Open Studio Art Trail. www.chichesterarttrail.org
  • June – identified new space to allow Unity Studios to expand.
  • July – Exhibition at the Guildhall in Chichester.
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