Remember 6th April 2017 – that was the day the Rutland Mill project truly went public. The takeover of the complex of mills on The Calder has been discussed for many years. Indeed, during this very meeting it was commented that a sign advertising ‘a dazzling water-side development’ had been there in excess of 8 years. The company taking over the mills, Tileyard, said they’d get their crowbar that very evening and remove it – this really is happening.
Tileyard is an existing company that operates from Kings Cross, London. It is a large, creative community comprising music studios, songwriting workshops, commercial retail units, graphic and digital design studios, film and videogame design and, well, far too many to mention here. Their website can tell you more.
The ethos is one of collaboration and the building / complex is designed more like a village, with purpose built social areas, cafes and restaurants that encourage sometimes unlikely meetings of minds.
Tileyard intend to effectively turn Rutland Mills into Tileyard North. In the opening statement of the afternoon of panels and discussion, Leader Of The Council Peter Box expressed how ideally placed Wakefield is geographically for this type of wide ranging creative hub. The core Tileyard team then went on to discuss the size and scope of the building, with opportunities for all level of creatives to get involved followed by a panel of creatives who had experience with the London Tileyard, which backed up the huge possibilities of so many different creative industries being under one roof.
The team advised they expected ‘lights on’ within 12 months with an opening at some point in 2018. The plans for the space are now being developed but are clearly not set in stone – we were shown different examples of what one space could be used for and they were happy to point out they want to build to the specifications of the people who will use it. Finding them is the first step, rather than build it and then see who may come along. Some members of the panels based in London openly said they would be purchasing space, so excited were they about the opportunity to have a northern base.
Tileyard are now undergoing a process of making connections on a more local level and are keen to connect. Wakefield Arts Partnership will be reaching out to them, in order to represent all our members and supporters, and we look forward to discussing the project in more detail.
What are the questions you’d like to see asked?