Earlier in July 2021 NN Contemporary Art became the first tenants at the newly-renovated Vulcan Works complex. In July our offices, studios & project space were temporarily relocated there whilst 24 Guildhall Road undergoes the capital renovations programme as part of a three-year development plan.
NN will be based in the St John’s building on Fetter Street, which is a new-build element of the West Northamptonshire Council-owned Vulcan Works and includes individual offices that will be used as artists’ studios and a larger space for the project space programme.
The refurbishment of 24 Guildhall Road is ongoing, with works scheduled to be complete in early 2022 as part of the South East Midland Local Economic Partnership’s (SEMLEP) Getting Building Fund and is a joint venture between West Northamptonshire Council and NN Contemporary Art. Through the project, we will be able to facilitate the creation of 16 artist studios, a new gallery and an entrance lobby.
Emer Grant, CEO and Artistic Director of NN Contemporary Art, said: “NN Contemporary Art has long had a presence in Guildhall Road, as we first moved to number 9 in 2013. Temporarily basing ourselves in the Vulcan Works will allow us to continue providing our essential remit of artists’ studios, project space residencies, Ambassador programmes, associated projects and online educational activities. The Vulcan Works will spearhead new creative economies for Northampton and a dynamic environment to facilitate the development of a new contemporary arts institution at 24 Guildhall Road.”
Judith Barker, Director of Programmes and Governance at SEMLEP added, “Supporting our areas cultural and creative assets is vital to making our area a diverse and innovative place where people want to live, work and visit. It’s fantastic to see our Local Growth Funded project, Vulcan Works, opening its doors and providing a temporary home for our Getting Building Fund project, the NN Gallery. The temporary gallery home will allow our community to access the arts, surround by creative businesses, while the restoration takes place around the corner.”
The St John’s Building is the first part of the overall site to reach practical completion, which has created the opportunity for NN Contemporary Art to use the space in place of having to rent elsewhere.
The hub, which occupies a large site between Guildhall Road and Fetter Street, contains 68 lettable units, co-working space, breakout areas and meeting rooms for start-up enterprises and creative businesses.
Councillor Lizzy Bowen, Cabinet member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth at West Northamptonshire Council, said: “We’re really pleased to be welcoming NN Contemporary Art as our first temporary tenants to use this fantastic new facility while 24 Guildhall Road is under redevelopment.
“The Vulcan Works are situated in the creative centre of Northampton’s growing Cultural Quarter, so it’s ideal that we can open this facility up to NN Contemporary Art, allowing them to continue with their artistic programme until their new studios and gallery are complete.”