STIRLING’S historic Old Town Jail is to become the new creative and cultural hub of the city.
With support from Stirling Council and the University of Stirling, a group of local social entrepreneurs have established Creative Stirling, a new Community Interest Company (CIC) which will offer a host of workshop programmes for the public as well as facilities for local creative and social innovation businesses.
The aim of Creative Stirling CIC is to create a multi-functioning cultural space that will provide a vibrant and accessible focal point for the city’s creative community.
Creative Stirling CIC will host cultural events inside the Old Town Jail, outdoors in the yard and at pop-up venues around town as well as acting as a creative professional development hub for the city. They will also offer professional design services, office and desk space, and operate a print studio.
Thanks to support from Creative Scotland the hands on programme will begin on 23 June 2012, the Year of Creative Scotland, with Freedom Versions, which will see a group of artists ‘decorating’ the exterior wall of the 19th century jail’s exercise yard.
The visually-stunning project is a bold installation expressing the artists’ concepts of freedom, independence, colonisation and alienation.
A collective of ten contemporary Scottish artists will deliver an interactive programme with Creative Stirling around the work throughout the summer and the project will expand to have a presence in the city streets in 2013.
The opening of the Freedom Versions 2012 Project will combine with the formal launch for Creative Stirling CIC on 23 June at their third public music event at the Old Town Jail Yard.
Joe Hall, founder and director of Creative Stirling CIC, said: “Our policy all along was about looking at what people in Stirling want for themselves and enable them to reclaim the city’s cultural identity.
“Given the potential of working within such an interesting heritage property, our take on our creative projects and activity is to base our practice around original ideas and having a strong sense of the social aspect in all of our workshops, interest groups and cultural events that we are planning for the summer.”
Iain Munro, director of Creative Development, Creative Scotland, said: “Transforming the courtyard of Stirling’s Historic Old Town Jail into a bold, collaborative art installation will be another spectacular addition to the Year of Creative Scotland 2012.
“Working with a number of talented artists the Creative Hub will enhance Stirling’s position as a tourist destination for national and international visitors.”
Alasdair Gammack, co-director of Creative Stirling, added: ”Our long term plans for the Old Town Jail will be to become a home for the young collective already onboard, and they are a dynamic multi-talented crew that count illustration, graphic design, printmaking, digital film and web design and technology among their creative abilities.
“The new programme and courses we are offering for the public are about exploration, no matter what level you are at.
“But we’ve also got the broader community of local artists, musicians and writers, people with craft and design skills in our extended database of talent who we will be drawing upon to hone our services and keep everything constantly evolving and fresh.”
Creative Stirling CIC have received investment from Creative Scotland’s Culture & Tourism Initative, which creates innovative collaborations between the tourism and culture sectors to raise the country’s profile as a tourist destination during 2012 the Year of Creative Scotland.
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Notes to editors:
About the Year of Creative Scotland 2012:
1. The Year of Creative Scotland began on January 1, 2012 and is a chance to showcase, celebrate and promote Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage. Through a dynamic and exciting year-long programme of activity celebrating our world-class events, festivals, culture and heritage, the year puts Scotland’s culture and creativity in the international spotlight with a focus on cultural tourism and developing the events industry and creative sector in Scotland. More information about the programme can be found at: www.visitscotland.com/creative
2. The Year of Creative Scotland is a Scottish Government initiative led in partnership by EventScotland, VisitScotland, Creative Scotland and VOCAL. More information and resources to help businesses engage with Year of Creative Scotland are available at www.visitscotland.org/yearofcreativescotland-toolkit
About Creative Scotland
3. Creative Scotland has created a programme that shows Scotland’s creativity at its best: contemporary, international and reflecting the joy that a vibrant cultural life brings to our communities. Creative Scotland will invest almost £8m National Lottery funds into a programme to support the year.
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