- Date: 6 August 2013
- Area: National, South West
The view from Porthmeor Studios. Credit: From www.facebook.com/PorthmeorStudios
Porthmeor Studios and Cellars in St Ives, Cornwall has been shortlisted for the English Heritage Angels Award in the category Best Rescue of a Historic Industrial Building.
Arts Council England supported the Borlase Smart John Wells Trust who owns and manages the studios with £1,095,000 from the National Lottery funded Grants for the arts capital programme in 2011 for the project, bringing the total Arts Council England investment to £1,477,703.
Porthmeor Studios in St Ives dates back to the early 1800s, and for its first 100 years it was at the centre of the pilchard industry. The artists started to arrive in the 1880s, and built their studios on top of the fishermen's cellars. Since then, Porthmeor has provided workspace for several internationally important artists, including Ben Nicholson, Francis Bacon and Patrick Heron.
The building still provides workspace for fishermen, artists and the St Ives School of Painting, and defines the history of St Ives. It has been Grade II* listed, but was structurally extremely fragile and urgently needed the major renovation works.
Now fully operational, artists and fishermen continue to work in adjacent spaces and the studios are open for members of the public to learn more about the building's heritage.
Andrew Proctor, Relationship Manager, South West, Arts Council England said: 'I am delighted this great project is getting the credit it so richly deserves. As well as celebrating St Ives' rich artistic heritage, Porthmeor Studios is offering a new generation of artists and audiences the opportunity to create and experience some great art. The renovation of Porthmeor Studios adds another cultural destination that will contribute to the area's economic resilience.'
The English Heritage Angel Awards were founded by Andrew Lloyd Webber to celebrate and reward the vision and hard work of local people who rescue historic buildings and places across England, saving their local heritage. The winners will be revealed at a glittering awards ceremony in London on 21 October.
The other projects shortlisted in this category are Malcolm and James Nattrass for Low Slit Mine, Bishop Auckland, County Durham; Friends of the Porter Valley for Shepherd Wheel, Sheffield, South Yorkshire and Frome Silk Mill, Frome, Somerset.
The Telegraph is the media partner for the awards and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation co-funds the awards.
English Heritage is inviting members of the public to visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/aboutangelawards to see full details of the shortlist and vote for their favourite.
By voting they will automatically be entered into a competition to win one of 50 pairs of tickets to the awards ceremony and two lucky voters will win not just a pair of tickets to the awards ceremony but also to the post-show reception hosted by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The shortlisted project that receives the most votes from members of the public will win the English Heritage Followers' and Telegraph Readers' Award.
For news, photos and videos of Porthmeor Studios' activities go to https://www.facebook.com/PorthmeorStudios.