By KLTV Newsdesk –
The Art Factory, located in the former Peters department store in the Packhorse Shopping Centre, Huddersfield, is set to close at the end of the month.
The closure comes as the centre is currently unable to secure a new location, despite its success in attracting a footfall of over 50 people per day and providing free working space to artists who could not afford it otherwise.
Duncan Osborne, Manager of the Art Factory, expressed disappointment that the local council had not recognized or supported the work done at the centre, despite its significant economic and cultural potential for the area.
“All this has been done without any support or funding from the local council,” he said.
“We have worked on a shoestring and can only imagine what could have been achieved with proper support.”
The Art Factory was created to promote creative activity and provide a home for local Huddersfield artists.
Over the past six months, it has created a beautiful gallery of local artwork open to the public, welcomed and worked with community organizations, and provided a safe and supportive atmosphere for people to heal.
The closure of the Art Factory has been met with disappointment from the local community.
Visitors to the centre have left hundreds of supportive comments, with one describing it as “just what Huddersfield needs.”
Duncan also questioned why the local council had not supported the arts centre and suggested that developing an existing facility would be more cost effective than building one from scratch.
“If you already have an Arts Centre, why not support it? And needless to say, a permanent Art Centre would have been a tourist destination and boosted sales in the shopping centre.”
The closure of the Art Factory is a loss for the local community and a missed opportunity for the council to support and promote the creative industries in the Kirklees district.
KLTV Visited the Art Factory in November of last year: