This move has been made possible through the support of Newcastle City Council, from whom we are leasing a part of the building on a 5-year lease. We’ll be sharing the building with Castle Nursery and the Thornfield Medical Group.
We’re currently building new studios inside the centre, ready for our nearly 100 artist members to move in to from mid-June. We will be working over the summer to get the rest of the building ready to open to the public from October, which will have a range of co-work, event, workshop and project spaces, and will be home to NewBridge Gallery and NewBridge Books.
Our studios provide space and resources for artists to make their work as part of an engaged and supportive community that encourages new ideas and projects to develop. We are really pleased to be taking this step in NewBridge’s journey together with so many of our wonderful members.
We want our space at the Shieldfield Centre to be a fantastic place for artists and local communities alike and, once we’ve settled in, we’ll be running lots of activities and programmes for artists, communities, and residents to get involved with, creating a space where people can come together to make, learn and socialise.
In the lead up to our move we have been working with local community organisation Dwellbeing to set up a Youth programme, and our Community Coordinator Elaine has been spending time in the area, meeting our new neighbours. Whilst we know that we are only going to be in this space for a relatively short time, we hope that these 5 years will help us to understand the area, build good relationships and new projects that can benefit the community and that NewBridge can become a resource enjoyed by residents in Shieldfield.
As well as working with communities in and around the Shieldfield Centre, we will continue to strengthen our relationships with local communities and partners in Gateshead where we have been working over the last 4 years, and through the For Solidarity Network, developing collaborative and off-site projects.
Over our 5 years at the Shieldfield Centre, we will work with artists, communities, and residents to shape the space and our programme, continuing to work with co-investigators and a Programme Committee so we can work responsively to the interests and needs of those around us.
From the Shieldfield Centre we will continue to deliver an ambitious programme of exhibitions, performances, screenings, artist development events, workshops, and bookshop events. This will support the production and presentation of new work that is experimental, responsive to its environment, builds solidarity, and places community-centred, collaborative and socially conscious programming at its heart.