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Norwich artists launch plea for new home

PUBLISHED: 07:30 26 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:48 01 July 2010

Ali MacKenzie of Tin House at the former Bally shoe factory.

Ali MacKenzie of Tin House at the former Bally shoe factory.

Sarah Hall

A community arts group which has contributed to some of the most high profile celebrations of culture in Norwich has made an urgent appeal for help in finding somewhere to showcase and store its work.

A community arts group which has contributed to some of the most high profile celebrations of culture in Norwich has made an urgent appeal for help in finding somewhere to showcase and store its work.

Tin House, along with other artists at the Art Factory Studios in the old Bally Shoe Factory in Hall Road, have been told they need to move out by the middle of next month.

As reported in the Evening News, they need to move out so Targetfollow, the owners of the former factory, can get the site ready for the long-awaited development of Harford Place.

That £122m development will see a new Asda store built, along with new homes, offices and leisure facilities and building work could start later this year.

But for the artists, such as Tin House, who were given temporary permission to rent the shoe factory, it leaves them hunting for new homes.

Tim Tracey, from Tin House, said: “We have been at the shoe factory since December 2006 and have benefited hugely from their tenancy arrangement, particularly in terms of access to space to create our large scale work and the storage facilities.

“We have been involved with Sparks in the Park, the Lord Mayor's Procession, the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, the Marlpit Massive and the Spirit of Carnival.

“It is ultimately hoped that a premises can be found that might accommodate a continuation of work with all of the above, and others, in terms of shared storage and usage of workshop space.

“In the short term though, Tin House is desperate to find somewhere to store four five metre processional puppets with trolley support, a large big Bang sign, two four metre illuminated skeleton puppets and around 60m2 of workshop materials and tools.

“If such a space enabled us to continue our current project commitments then this would be a great plus.”

Mr Tracey said, with Norwich aiming for the City of Culture status, it would be a great shame if the artists could not find anywhere else.

He said: “We appreciate how fortunate we have been with this, and are aware that we will be extremely lucky to find something similar.

“This economic reality supports the argument for shared creative space, and is a theme echoed by many of the groups with whom we work.

“There is a shared perception that in these times of high cultural profile for Norwich and Norfolk there must surely be a solution to the working space problem that exists for Tin House and many others working creatively at a grassroots cultural level.”

Anyone who can help should contact Mr Tracey on 07825 004442 or email frontdoor@tinhouse.org.uk

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