Under the name NE40 Studios, the new facility should create up to 20 jobs and GradonArchitecture and Gateshead Council's Economic Development Service are looking for artisans and creative individuals to express an interest in the project, as space is limited and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. With a short commute of 20 minutes from nearby Newcastle, the positions are being snapped up fast.
The 200 year old United Reform Church has become a personal project of GrandonArchitecture's Design Director Graham McDarby, a resident of Ryton. His firm saved the 200 year old church from private developers who had intended to transform it into an apartment block.
Should the transformation prove a success, plans are to convert an additional building adjacent to the church into further commercial space, offering gallery options and workspace for the local community and artists.
McDarby explains: "The church and adjacent hall are a key part of the heritage of Ryton and will now be retained and sustained with uses which will continue to benefit the community. The creative arts and employment uses will provide a platform for the long term preservation of the buildings."