3 August 2022


In the last newsletter we mentioned that plans were afoot exploring future possibilities for Regent Trading Estate, the reclaimed site of multiple industrial units beside Islington Mill that for many years has been home to our artists, many of them re-homed from other closed and demolished studio buildings, and a hub for creative and community outputs. Ideas to redevelop the site meant a risk of losing the cultural ecology artists have been building there but conversation and ideas have now led to a positive development, as Bill Campbell of Islington Mill explains:

“The Mayor of Salford Paul Dennett has agreed our proposals which includes keeping Units 4 and 5. This means that many of us can breathe a sigh of relief as we take control of our destiny by forming our own long-term development plan.

There will be various processes to get this in place over the next few months but the previous plan to demolish everything has not just been stopped but turned around. The compromise is that we lose Unit 2, however we feel confident we can work with everyone to rehouse those in Unit 2 somewhere, somehow.

I hope this has turned a feeling of threat and instability into one of hope and ambition for how we can rebuild our community and our culture post Covid and post building site and begin to imagine a bright future and work towards it.

Thank you to all of you who contributed to the various workshops, meetings, tours and talks that brought this about. We know this took extra energy and commitment at a time of great uncertainty and hope this has demonstrated that it is worth keeping the faith and imagining what can be. We are clearly a strong sum of many talented parts.”

Other news…

From now until Sunday 7 August Mill artist Freya Wysocki presents ‘Hag’ at Watch this Space, 285 Deansgate. Playful textiles and sculptures examine the nature of tenderness and growth, and dream of alternative and queer ways of existing.

On Sunday 7 August, The Lowry will host a free summer open day with loads of fun activities for families including dancing, drawing, storytelling and open air performances. Read more at this link.

On Wednesday 10 August we will host our next Heritage public event, sharing new writing and acted monologues on the topic of Workers’ Rights. Poet / playwright / performer Elizabeth Gibson has produced new work in response to the history and present of workers and textile factories in the UK, from the Weavers and Chartists to the present day fashion industry. Keziah Lockwood and Ross Thompson will perform new monologues written by Elizabeth, plus there is conversation and free food as always. Free but register if you can. Join us! 

On 31 August we invite you to partake in Food Of The Gods, from TV Babies. A simulated fine-dining experience using live streamed green-screen technology. For one night only watch yourself consume the unconsumable. Part of A Modest Show, showcasing Manchester’s artists and artist-led venues, this event will close the collective’s residency at exciting new space DEZ REZ on Deansgate. TV babies are never less than weird and thrilling in equal parts. Register here.

Art With Heart present Artist Brew Day in which the organisation’s Co-Creative Director Sarah Emmott is offering free one to one advice sessions on Zoom on 31 August. From fundraising to project advice – or even if you just want to say hi – you’re welcome to book for a 45 minute Zoom using this link. They will also shortly be announcing a line up of exciting workshops in the next few weeks for artists, freelancers and small arts organisations so please follow them on social media to find out more and of course we will share all the info right here.

Bee Corner at the Islington Mill Community Garden, first birthday open day. 14 August, 2 till 5pm. Free and everyone welcome.

Rachel Goodyear, ‘Stirrings‘, new solo show, Salford Museum & Art Gallery, until February 2023.