The Hotwalls Studios complex is a landmark development in the city of Portsmouth. The complex aims to provide an environment in which artists/makers can start and grow their business. There are many theories as to why the area is known as the Hotwalls but its association with artists dates back to the 1960s/70s when artists began selling paintings from the open arches at Point Battery. This has provided inspiration for the Hotwalls Studios project.
In 2014, Portsmouth City Council was successful in securing £1.75 million of government funding, via the Coastal Communities Fund, to refurbish the buildings at Point Battery and to re-use them as working artist/maker studios. The Coastal Communities Fund is awarded to coastal towns and cities that want to ‘diversify and grow’ particular areas of their economies and support new start-up businesses / sustain developing business in these sectors. There is a flourishing creative sector in Portsmouth and many creative businesses looking for premises.
Portsmouth City Council and the University of Portsmouth have organised a secondment opportunity for Claire to assist the local authority in the development of the Hotwalls Studios.
Portsmouth City Council are keen to develop the Studios as a key opportunity for Portsmouth’s creative sector and our profile as a creative city. Specifically, the Council has identified the following priority areas:
- Using the Studios as the focus for a cohesive, consistent, high quality, creative ‘offer’, acting as a platform to showcase creative organisations, artists, makers and their networks
- Building a clear, transparent and accessible cultural network for Portsmouth
- Coordinating opportunities for creative organisations and networks to come together to plan and hold events at the Studios
- Managing the ongoing quality of the Hotwalls Studios’ offer and brand development
- Building relationships with creative organisations and artists/makers within Portsmouth and beyond to inform the long term development of an alternative management model (social enterprise) for the Hotwalls Studio, including a research base and best practice
- Designing a web-based ‘shopfront’ for Hotwalls Studios’ tenants that can be extended to Portsmouth Makers
- Building relationships/projects with students, graduates and partners as a pathway to employment or business start-ups within the creative sector
For more information regarding the Hotwalls Project, visit Portsmouth City Council’s website here.