A heart-lifting view from Redruth’s Old Grammar School to the North Cornish Coast has opened up with the demolition of derelict buildings in the latest stage of a major £3.7million project which will see the Krowji creative hub double in size.
As the demolition team from CGS Contractors paves the way for two new state of the art buildings, Krowji has announced that Cornish construction firm RM Developments of St Day will be building the inspirational workspace which will raise its much-sought-after capacity to 200 people.
Currently Krowji’s creative community comprises around 100 artists and actors, designers and journalists, musicians and jewellers, mainly working from spaces in the handsome, hundred year old grammar school building where they rub shoulders and exchange ideas in the famous Melting Pot Café.
Now the Melting Pot’s courtyard garden – which will be landscaped itself over the coming months – is looking out over five miles of countryside to the ocean at Portreath instead of its old view of the dilapidated post-war former gym and dinner hall.
Within a year the airy new buildings with impeccable eco-credentials and designed to the needs of their creatively-minded tenants will be linked by a glass bridge, maintaining a “keyhole” view to the sea from the Melting Pot’s garden – the link between the old and the new.
“We’re already getting inquiries about our new space and there’s a real buzz about the project,” says Krowji’s Ross Williams. “We ‘ve long known the demand was there for the unique creative work-space and inspirational atmosphere we’re created here over the last decade – in fact we’ve had a waiting list for the last couple of years – so it’s very exciting for us all to see the work progressing at such a pace.”
The nationally-acclaimed Krowji already flourishes among the top providers of creative space in the country and the Krowji team, working with project managers Vickery Holman, produced the rock-solid business plan for expansion which clinched £3.7 million of funding – both privately sourced and from the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme.
Some existing tenants, like the team from MyCornwall magazine, will be moving into bespoke space in the new buildings; others like Miracle Theatre – one of Britain’s foremost touring companies – had already moved from their rehearsal space in the old dining hall into a cheerier part of the Krowji site to make way for the demolition work.
“We’ll be seeing a fair amount of re-allocation of space as both new and existing tenants choose to move into both the old and new buildings – while others will simply want to stay put!” says Ross. “Krowji roughly means “workshop” in Cornish and our project will provide exactly the sort of flexible space where our creatively minded tenants can work and feel inspired.”