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Winckley Square building transformed into north west hub of creativity

Posted on - 3rd March, 2019 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Business, Preston City Centre, Winckley Square
The Artistry House reception area
The Lounge – the Artistry House’s reception area

A Winckley Square building has undergone a style transformation to become a home for creativity in the north west.

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The Artistry House at 16 Winckley Square is a base for creative industries to work together.

Co-founder Lynsey Thompson said: “The Artistry House is somewhere people can come to collaborate and champion creativity, which is so important in business these days.

“Design agency Wash and architects Studio John Bridge are tenants, but there’s lots of space that means the building is a hub where people can come in to use desk space, have meetings or hold events.

“It’s all about getting people in to use the space and finding people to collaborate with on projects across areas like branding, interiors and film.”

The building has been refurbished over the past two years by Lynsey and co-founder Andy Walmsley.

The result is an ultra-stylish space that puts bespoke furniture and antique pieces against a backdrop of original art and a Farrow and Ball colour palette.

The Workshop is designed for informal meetings and sharing ideas
The Workshop is designed for informal meetings and sharing ideas

Lynsey said: “We toyed with the idea of Manchester because it can be hard having a business in Preston from a recruitment point of view, or for getting big clients.

“But we decided that we’d stick our stake in the ground, and make a point of trying to support and build a community here.

“We bought the building two years ago and it was the view out to Winckley Square gardens that sold it to us.

“All the interior walls were covered in an awful yellow wallpaper and everything was very office-y. We haven’t had to do much structurally but we’ve replaced the boiler, done the electrics, put in new lighting, changed the radiators and decorated everywhere.

“There are lots of extra finishing touches, like a granite worktop in the kitchen, because when people are spending so much time here at work we want them to feel at home. I think we’ve managed it, as everyone who visits loves it.”

Read more: Winckley Square history book is raising funds for St Catherine’s Hospice

Instead of yellow wallpaper the inside of the Artistry House is now covered with original art.

Lynsey said: “We have a lot of plans for the Artistry House but we started with art simply because we wanted to fill the building with art.

“We’re working with Graeme Windle who is a curator, and he’s using the house as a gallery space. We’ve had a couple of viewing evenings, and we opened the building up on Saturdays before Christmas. It was really nice and something a bit different for Preston.”

Lynsey’s other plans for the Artistry House range from getting into products and interiors, to holding a mini-festival and starting a book shop.

She said: “The first phase of the website shop will be to launch print-based artwork. Longer term I’d like us to have collections of products. I’d love to design wallpaper and fabrics and create candles.”

Having put the Artistry House’s pin in the map in Preston, Lynsey would like to see other independent companies and people with a strong vision investing in the city.

“Nowadays there is such a big expectation on businesses, whether they be a shop, a restaurant, a design studio or something else – people have a much better design aesthetic and they want things to look and feel great, to be an experience.

“We need more of that in Preston and it’s a great opportunity being here because there are so many businesses with that potential – it’s just getting people to understand where they could be.”

Find out more about the Artistry House at www.theartistry.house or by following on Instagram or Facebook.

What do you think of what the Artistry House is aiming to achieve? Let us know in the comments below.

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