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All About Art

An innovative new ‘artists hub’ aimed at providing easily accessible space for artists and musicians with disabilities and on low incomes has taken up residence in Forward Property Group’s premises on Grosvenor Road in Altrincham.

The former warehouse has been let to A4 Studios, a not-for-profit community interest company founded by four artists and entrepreneurs.

A4 Studios will provide 22 wheelchair accessible ground floor studios and a shared studio on a mezzanine level. There are plans to expand with a further 10 studios on an extension to the mezzanine next year.

These fully serviced studios will be accessible 24 hours a day and will provide well-lit, secure, wi-fi equipped facilities for artists and makers in the Trafford community.

There is a soundproof rehearsal space available for local bands and musicians to book and a machine room equipped with artists’ engineering tools that will be free to use for residents and can be rented by the general public.

A gallery space, ‘AIR Gallery’, will stage an annual programme of art, performance art, music and spoken word events that showcase new and emerging local, national and international talent.
Says John Lockwood, Managing Director, A4 Studios, “A4 Studios is an organisation run by artists for the benefit of artists. We’re offering well-equipped, accessible and affordable space in an inclusive, supportive environment. There is nothing like it in the area.

“The response to our plans has been fantastic with most of the studios reserved before they’d even been built. We’ve also received donations of cash and materials from local individuals and businesses.

“Our aim is to create an art community within the larger Altrincham community and to raise awareness of disabilities and equality in arts whilst enhancing our outreach activities across Trafford. We’re already making friends with other local artists, such as a disabled dance group that use our rehearsal space.

“The building on Grosvenor Road is perfect for our needs; it’s close to the main transport links, has fantastic natural light and the Forward Property Team have been hugely supportive of our plans,” he adds.

Chris Wright, from Forward Property Group is full of admiration for the project. He says, “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome A4 Studios as a tenant and are very impressed with the innovative and effective way in which they have adapted the building to suit their needs.

“The facility has already become invaluable to those that use it, proof of just how much it was needed in this area. We wish them great success,” he adds.
For more information on A4 Studios or to donate to the project visit www.a4studios.co.uk or follow them on Facebook @A4StudiosAndGallery and Twitter @A4ArtistStudios.

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