New arts venue a ‘beacon of hope’ for crisis-hit industry
A new centre for the arts in Nottingham is set to become a hub for nurturing fresh talent, offering skills support and collaborative opportunities to artists.
Fisher Gate Point is a joint venture from the people behind Wigflex (multi-venue music festival), I’m Not From London (label and independent promoter), Circle of Light (youth music project), Garage, Kool Kat and The Lofthouse (former Nottingham club venues) driven by a shared passion to nurture the creative arts in Nottingham.
TheBusinessDesk.com exclusively revealed plans for Fisher Gate Point back in August. Now, venue and club operator Ian Gardiner; community project producer Tricia Gardiner; music label and events promoter Will Robinson; event producer Lukas Cole and digital marketeer Avarni Bilan have taken on the lease with ambitious plans for the three-storey, 7,000 sq ft building.
Working with an architect, the venue on the southside of the city will house two recording studios, a co-working space, a garden meeting space for nurturing seedling ideas, workshop rooms, a bar/kitchen, a multi-functional events space equipped with a custom built high spec sound and light system as well as the dedicated Circle of Light and Wigflex studios.
Seven of the 12 office units have been let to independent tenants including a photographer, community radio station and live streaming company, while an acting group and the Prince’s Trust are among those who regularly meet at the venue.
Avarni Bilan, FGP partner, said: “We have come together with a desire to help the grassroots community arts scene and this shared ethos is what has brought us together first and foremost. We want to become an incubator for the creative talent that exists in the city.
“FGP will be a place for creatives to test ideas, a seeding environment where they can access skills, knowledge and equipment. Physically, we are creating open spaces within the building along with a culture where everyone is invited to be experimental, with the freedom to fail and to inspire each other.”
Creatives – both new and established – will be invited to tap into the in-house skills to help realise their ideas including engineers, technicians, photographers, filmmakers, videographers and social media marketeers.
As an event producer, Lukas Cole has been searching for the right venue for 10 years and is relishing the creative freedom it will bring when it comes to producing events such as leftfield music festival Wigflex.
He said: “Taking on our own place is the logical progression from staging events across other venues where elements were out of our control. As a venue, FGP has huge potential. Now we can curate the event experience from conception through to every aspect of delivery from the light and sound through to the quality of the bar. Events will have an emphasis on quality as it gives us creative freedom and takes away the pressures such as having to be in and out within a day.”
The building is also now a permanent base for the award-winning Youth Music project Circle of Light. It’s just one of several projects to have taken place at FGP this year. Others have included the live stream festivals Light Hustle in April and Nottstopping Festival in May, demonstrating the team’s ability to react and respond nimbly to the constraints of lockdown.
Tricia Gardiner said: “FGP is a beacon of hope for the arts at a time when the sector is facing an immediate crisis. While we have been working on this idea before the pandemic arrived, the last few months has shown how much this is needed.
“We want to be an accessible and affordable space for upcoming talent to come and use the building. We can help match people up with different opportunities or those who can help with the skills they need. FGP is also an opportunity to showcase the creative life of the city to a wider audience.”
A film and music video have also been shot at the venue this year with upcoming projects in the New Year already in place, including FlyGirl, a representation platform for creative womxn of colour, Be Scene and Heard, a music project for young deaf people and To Hull and Back, a two-city live music project to provide opportunities for musicians in Hull and Nottingham.
The new centre for the arts has also been welcomed by the Arts Council, and has recently received a Cultural Recovery Fund award as part of the Government’s support for the arts.