What was home to a collective of artists on a Preston street is to become a new furniture store.Advertisement
Oxheys Mill Studios in Stanhope Street, off Brook Street, had been used for six years by a group of art makers.
Now Italian Sofa Specialists have bought the building and applied for permission to turn it into a showroom, extending their existing store in Brook Street.
Oxheys, while operating, was the base for artists Caroline Finnigan, Denise Swanson, Evelyn Rose, Gordon Ashworth, Julie Saul, Rachel Westerbeek and Robin Fanner.
The group put on a number of exhibitions during their time at Stanhope Street and and welcomed nearly 4,000 people through the doors.
The arts group had former councillor Albert Richardson as a landlord – he never put the rent up during their six years there.
Artist Denise Swanson said: “The building was sold early in the year and all the artists had to move out, so our final event was held in March. I’m surprised it has taken this long for a planning application, as we were given very little notice to move.
“It was a shame but unavoidable as it was due to our landlord’s failing health.
“We were unable to find anywhere else at short notice that was affordable so we rebranded ourselves as Oxheys and now work as a peripatetic artists collective, taking part in projects such as Making A Mark, Lancashire Encounter etc, with no fixed abode.”
Proposals for the former art studio have been lodged with Preston City Council and can be seen on the city council website.