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Park Hill Art Space: Plans for new Park Hill art gallery unveiled

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Work-in-progress design of Park Hill Art Space

An exhibition at Park Hill has revealed the latest proposals to establish a permanent home for S1 Artspace at the site.

Local residents were given the opportunity to ask the architects about the updated plans, which will see a complex of artists' studios built in the lower floors of the Duke Street block. Housing units will be renovated on the upper floors and a new gallery space will be built on the site of an old garage.

"When it was first proposed it was one whole slab of the Duke Street block," project lead Stephen Escritt told Now Then. "As we got into the design process it was clear that it was very difficult to deliver an art gallery inside that block because of the listed nature of the building.

"It's very difficult to get any big spaces in there, so at that point we realised that to develop a gallery we had to do that outside the historic block," said Escritt. "It became clear that using one whole slab was less feasible than using one layer all the way round, because the building works horizontally rather than vertically."

We're looking from now at a five-year trajectory

I asked about the timescale for the project, which S1 Artspace are planning to fund through a mixture of Lottery grants, private donations and local development budgets.

"Hopefully we get planning permission next year. Then we've got the process of fundraising, and that will take at least two or three years, and then it'll take another 18 months to build," explained Escritt. "So we're looking from now at a five-year trajectory."

Another part of the Grade II* listed building will be developed into student flats and work has recently begun on phase two of the building's redevelopment, which will see a further 200 new homes overlooking the train station.

The housing units on the upper floors of the Duke Street block will be renovated at the same time as the gallery space. The planning application will be submitted by the end of this year, with an outcome expected by April 2019.

The proposals are available to view on the S1 Artspace website until 12 December.

Sam Gregory

by Sam Gregory (he/him)

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