New partnership launches to support the retainment of creative graduates in the region
Arts University Plymouth’s Workroom, a creative business incubation space in Eat Work Art’s Light Studios that supports graduates to develop and grow the next generation of creative business start-ups, is due to launch soon in Plymouth.
The initiative marks an exciting collaboration between Arts University Plymouth and Eat Work Art, the organisation responsible for Alma Yard. Established in 2009, Eat Work Art embarked on a mission to breathe new life into buildings in London and Devon to transform them into vibrant workspaces for independent creative communities to grow.
Designed for new and emerging creative industry start-ups and creative businesses with a focus on collaboration and innovation, the initial 12-month pilot scheme in Light Studios is open to alumni who have graduated from the arts university in the last three years and are in the early stages of developing a creative business or career. Places in Arts University Plymouth’s Workroom will be offered in stages to alumni who graduated from July 2020 onwards, including students due to graduate in 2023.
Professor Stephen Felmingham, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at Arts University Plymouth, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to offer our graduates another route to establish their creative business start-ups within the city of Plymouth, giving our best and brightest students another reason to stay in the South West and contribute to our local community and economy. Our partners in this initiative, Eat Work Art, do excellent work to breathe new life into buildings in London and Devon, and it’s exciting to embark upon this journey with an organisation whose values so closely align with our own.”
Based in Stonehouse, Plymouth, Light Studios is home to Eat Work Art’s creative community of private studios and event spaces, a stone’s throw from Union Street and a short walk to the water and Millbay Pier, Royal William Yard and Devil’s Point. Light Studios is Eat Work Art’s second regeneration project in Plymouth, following the opening of Alma Yard in June 2021, with plans to re-open The Millennium Building in the near future.
An application process for graduates to secure a workspace for six-months within the incubation hub in Light Studios is planned to open soon. Successful graduates in the first wave of applicants will receive three rent-free months during the first six months of their agreement, to support the development of a creative industry start-up business. Options will be available to extend the initial six months to up to one year.
Successful graduates joining Arts University Plymouth’s Workroom will receive an incredible mixture of benefits and support, including 24/7 access to Light Studios, with access by arrangement to other Eat Work Art creative spaces across Plymouth and London including Netil House and Hackney Downs Studios, plus bookable access to cutting-edge resources and equipment through the new Arts University Plymouth Creative Associates scheme.
Graduates will also have access to the benefits and facilities offered to Eat Work Art residents, including social media and newsletter promotions and a joint Arts University Plymouth Eat Work Art Accessprofile, an online platform with a network of over 1000 creatives across all Eat Work Art sites. In addition to a dedicated desk and chair in a large incubation studio in Light Studios, facilities include 24/7 access, CCTV monitoring, bike storage, inviting communal areas (including kitchen and rooftop terrace), on-site bakery, shower room, wifi and wired internet access points.
Arts University Plymouth will offer a package of alumni support to graduates within the incubation space. This will include opportunities to learn alongside other graduates from different disciplines in an entrepreneurial community, supported with a programme of monthly talks, seminar discussions and one-to-one mentoring with industry and enterprise specialists. Graduates will also benefit from continued access to advice and support from the Arts University Plymouth Careers & Enterprise team.
One of the most valuable benefits for graduates will be automatic eligibility to join Arts University Plymouth’s Creative Associates scheme during the agreement, a curated scheme that allows bookable access to workshops, studios and specialist equipment within the arts university.
Workroom is an Arts University Plymouth Knowledge Exchange activity supported by Research England’s Knowledge Exchange Funding for Smaller Providers.