Artist Bill Campbell arrived at Islington Mill in 1996, hiring a studio space in the partially-abandoned mill building that he saw each day across the road from his tower block flat. Soon after arriving he invited other artists to join him and they began to host the first artist happenings.
Islington Mill Arts Club as we know it was established in the year 2000 when Bill was able to purchase the whole of our listed building. He commenced a gradual programme of renovation, resulting in artist studios across four floors of the building, plus a large open space on the fifth floor and an atmospheric attic space on the sixth.
We are now home to over 100 resident artists and collectives in the main mill building and adjacent engine houses. Following our successful capital build programme, and a fruitful partnership with Salford City Council, Islington Mill Arts Club now operates Regents Trading Estate, an adjacent plot of former industrial land where we have established new artist studios in former warehouse spaces, plus event spaces and a community garden.
In addition we recently acquired the running of the former mill building across the courtyard from Islington Mill in partnership with Salford City Council. This building, named New Islington Mill, is currently being completely refurbished and will soon house creative businesses and artists from many disciplines.
The Mill has always been a vibrant and resourceful cross-disciplinary creative network; a space where conversations leads to connections, collaboration and co-creation. Over the years our collaborative exploratory style has made our studios into a focal point for the north-west’s arts community, as well as visiting international artists and exchanges.
We create opportunities for artists – for the exploration of self-organisation, responsibility, participation and freedom – through a DIY ethos, to help build platforms for future emerging artists.
To support our ongoing commitment to artist education and development, and to bring art and people together, we have established a charity called the Islington Mill Foundation.
Our hope is that the Mill will always be a work in progress; an ever-evolving creative space, arts hub and community shaped by those who are here. As an organisation, we revel in making as little distinction as possible between work and play, chaos and control, outcome and process.
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We look forward to welcoming you into our radically transformed buildings in 2023.