The Brick Box and Leeds-based arts charity East Street Arts have forged an exciting new partnership to find high quality creative uses for empty spaces in Bradford city centre.

The collaboration will see The Brick Box coordinate the use of empty city centre space for creative charitable use. This could include things like exhibitions, theatre rehearsals and performance events, all of which have been successful in Bradford’s empty spaces since the arts charity first came to the city in 2016.

Previous examples in Bradford include The Wild Woods in the former department store on Darley Street, which attracted more than 5,000 people across eight events and brought thousands of pounds of extra spend into the city centre.

Immersive theatre show This Space is Occupied rehearsed in an empty space on Ivegate to get ready for the performance in a separate empty building on the same street. Likewise, young female-led organisation Speakers Corner has taken over a space at the bottom of Ivegate for meetings and social events.

The Brick Box will match up creative practitioners with available spaces, finding the right home for each project and giving them an introduction to the city and local arts scene. The result will be a more visible and collaborative network of artists and creative professionals sharing ideas and resources, all of which will help the city centre to develop and market itself as a hub for new and innovative work.

Rosie Freeman from The Brick Box, said: “As retail becomes more concentrated in specific areas of the city centre, there is a need to reconsider how we use empty space in the city in a way which both attracts new visitors and helps the city to develop its own strengths.

“By giving some of Bradford’s empty spaces to creative practitioners, Bradford is able to build on its Producer City status by offering artistic talent in the area some of the resources it needs to grow and develop.”

Ella Cronk, temporary spaces coordinator at East Street Arts, said: “We’re really excited to have formed this new partnership to help us coordinate activity in our spaces across Bradford. We are passionate about making space for artists to explore and enhance their practice and, having worked with The Brick Box previously, feel confident that they are dedicated to the same cause and well equipped to bring some brilliant things to the spaces. We’re really looking forward to this collaboration.”

Anyone wanting to find out more about getting a space can come to a public meeting at the Brick Box bar at 21 Ivegate on 26th June from 6pm-8pm. Any creative use will be considered, as long as it’s not for profit, and The Brick Box encourage people to form collectives to take on larger spaces together – all of which can be facilitated at the forthcoming meetings.

Announcing a new partnership with East Street Arts