Feasibility Studies for Art and Craft Based Facilities
A good feasibility study is more than a set of financial projections. Done properly it becomes a strategic plan that is the road map for all subsequent decisions. As much as answering the question is the project feasible? a good study also addresses the question of what is most feasible and what should all its attributes be to assure maximum success.
The feasibility study is divided into two different phases: Market Feasibility Study and Economic Feasibility. A team of professionals combined with our experience, knowledge and research will be used to develop a feasibility study for your specific needs.
Recent arts based projects include the research and development of artist studios at Belmont Mills, County Offaly. The Mills are now completing phase 1 of the project that includes five artist studios, courtyard and artist apartments. Studios and apartments will be available from June 2003.
Development of Artists Studios at Belmont Mills
1.1 Background to the project
Thomas Dolan and Cassandra Lloyd purchased Belmont Mills in 1997 from the Perry Family. The Mill complex comprises of a four and one half acre site adjacent to the weir on the River Brosna and 400 metres from the 36th lock on the Grand Canal. The site comprises:
- 18th/19th century Oat Mill and warehouse (13,000 sq. ft.)
- Coach house, stables and associated buildings (4000sq. ft.)
- 20th Century warehouse (10,000 sq. ft.)
- 19th century office building (1300 sq. ft.)
- 18th Century Mill owners house (1500 sq. ft.)
- 19th century cut stone Mill owners house. Fully restored (4000 sq. ft.)
The feasibility study contained in this report was commissioned by Thomas Dolan and Cassandra Lloyd and partially funded by Shannon Development Board. The study looked at the following:
- Development and concentration of the buildings on site for art and craft based activities.
- Potential for the development of hot glass studios.
- Potential for weekend and summer craft school/training centre
1.2 Vision and Objectives
The vision of the project is to provide artists working in a variety of media with the opportunity to develop their artwork in a creative environment at a reasonable cost. Emphasis will be placed on the development of a Glass Centre to accommodate and support the use of a variety of glass working techniques including hot, cast and kiln formed glass. The Centre would provide glass artists with the unique opportunity to develop their work in purpose built and equipped studios. An important component of the artist studios are the exposure, education and interaction that will take place among the artists and local community. The vision consists of economic, heritage, environmental and social objectives, as follows:
- Turn disused mill and warehouse space into income generating workshops and studios.
- Provide residential accommodation on site.
- Short term employment for community i.e. restoration of buildings.
- Long term employment i.e. art/craft employment, maintenance of buildings, administration of centre.
- Income generation for community by providing accommodation for artists, students and tourists.
- Local community income opportunity providing services and materials to artists studios
- Development of weekend and summer school programme.
- Contribution to green/art tourism in West Offaly
- Restoration of significant 18th and 19th century industrial and vernacular buildings.
- Restore 18th/19th century fully equipped Oat Mill for educational purposes.
- Enhancing the aesthetic of this rural environment through the restoration of important 18th and 19th century Mill buildings.
- Restoration of gardens and river frontage.
- Provide low cost studio space and accommodation for artists and craftsmen.
- Communal based hot glass facilities for young artists. Running cost will be shared and therefore take considerable financial pressure from young glass makers and provide them with the freedom to develop their work.
- Providing community development through participation in workshops and classes.
- Artists will live and work within the community.
- Long- term development of an artistic/creative community in West Offaly
- Revitalise and repopulate Belmont and the surrounding area.
- Long term objective of glass skills training course that community members can participate in.
1.3 The Role of the project in Integrated Development
Belmont Mill Artists Studios is driven by six strategic themes:
- Provide Artists studios at a reasonable cost.
- Provide hot glass studios within Ireland.
- Employment creation and economic development.
- Create an Arts community within West Offaly.
- Enhance the environment.
- Develop a glass skills training centre
These themes are interrelated and are all about the development of the quality of life in the West Offaly area. The involvement of the artists living within the community could create a strong bond between these strategic themes. Depending on the management and development of the studios this could provide opportunities for training in the form of apprenticeships and skill based short courses.