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Filling In The Blanks: Blank Canvas Arts Spaces

27th April 2018

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Arts programme Blank Canvas, part of the Skippko Arts Charity, have joined forces with York Retail Forum and York BID to help get some of York’s empty shops back into use. They aim to utilise some of the empty retail units by setting up pop up arts spaces.

Their first space has been open this month in Goodramgate, using an empty unit in one of York’s worst hit streets for empty shops. The space will be used as a pop up arts space for local artists to run exhibitions, demonstrations, talks and workshops.

Blank Canvas York Co-ordinator Phil Dodsworth is confident this approach can help get some of York’s empty units back into use and at the same time offer visitors exciting and unique access to York’s makers and artists.

"We have been working very hard over the last few months, along with York Retail Forum and York BID in trying to persuade landlords to allow us to utilize some of these empty shop units in the City Centre. Nobody wants to see lots of empty shop units in our City Centre. It’s bad news for retailers, consumers and locals, so I hope by using some of these spaces on a temporary basis, Blank Canvas can bring some life back to these empty shops and provide visitors with an opportunity to interact with and view work from some of our amazing local artists."

We are very grateful to York Conservation Trust for allowing us to use this amazing building and as local artists we feel very privileged to be using one of the oldest buildings in York for our first pop up art space.

I hope our use of this space will act as an exemplar for other landlords to see the benefits of allowing our artists to use empty City Centre spaces. Our scheme ensures the buildings are being used and looked looked after; the spaces are more secure and our use is proven to make the space more appealing to future long term tenants’. Click below for more. The Goodramgate space is open on a planned rolling basis, with new artists introduced as long as the space is available.

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Blank Canvas York
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