Artists invited to apply for space at Plymouth’s Ocean Studios

PUBLISHED: 16:13 09 January 2015 | UPDATED: 16:13 09 January 2015

Ocean Studios at the Royal William Yard, Plymouth

Ocean Studios at the Royal William Yard, Plymouth


Devon artists are being invited to apply for a tenancy at the new £4.2m Ocean Studios at Plymouth’s Royal William Yard.

Ocean Studios at the Royal William Yard, PlymouthOcean Studios at the Royal William Yard, Plymouth

Artists who want to become part of Plymouth’s Ocean Studios development at the historic Royal William Yard have until January 30 to apply for a tenancy.

From May this year Ocean Studios will be home to more than 30 individual and shared studios.

There will also be extended hot desking space, specialist workshops, exhibition, retail and education space - all available for potential tenants.

Set overlooking the sea in a Grade I listed building, Ocean Studios is the transformative studio and gallery development funded largely by ERDF, Plymouth City Council, Growing Places Fund and English Heritage.

Ocean Studios at the Royal William Yard, PlymouthOcean Studios at the Royal William Yard, Plymouth

The culmination of the six years of project development will see flexible studio walls being erected throughout the various spaces to meet tenants’ specific needs, allowing artists and their teams the opportunity to grow.

A flexible project/event space will be created on the first floor along with various communal areas to ensure constant, relaxed, easy and naturally engaging networking. A central commercial gallery and shop will provide everyone within the creative hub the opportunity to show and sell.

Support, mentoring, diversity, sharing and experimentation will be continually provided for tenants who will be strongly encouraged by this new community.

The Ocean Studios core team will also be constantly driving the new space for debate, dialogue, learning, expansion and artistic entrepreneurship. Ocean Studios will be continually audience-centric and will be as much about the people who walk through the doors to get involved, as it will be about the ongoing tenants.

Ocean Studios at the Royal William Yard, PlymouthOcean Studios at the Royal William Yard, Plymouth

An exciting and radical set of outreach and short courses will be confirmed in the near future, aimed at bringing all manner of people, of all ages and levels of experience, into the space to set their imaginations and skills free.

Demand for the Ocean Studios already far outstrips the availability so a transparent application process, headed by a selection panel, will ensure a fresh and invigorating mix of artists, photographers and designer/makers at every stage of their career journey.

The main selection criteria are: quality of practice, diversity of practice, contribution to studio culture and ability to pay rent. However one of the additional key deciders will be the tenants’ obvious personal commitment to being an integral player within the truly creative community, and potential residents will have the opportunity to present their proposition to a panel of cultural and artistic experts during the selection process.

Happening at a pivotal Plymouth moment in time, Ocean Studios is driven by the dogged determination of an artist and a designer-maker.

Leigh Mason says: “It is extremely exciting for all involved that we are at this stage now of opening up the doors to our most important element; the people who will work here and bring the vision and the building itself to life. We have had an incredible response so far so I would strongly encourage any artist, designer or craft maker to get in touch and apply as soon as possible.”

Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans says: “Ocean Studios is a staggering space and an amazing development for the city and for the sector. For too long, institutions such as Plymouth College of Arts and Plymouth University have produced and mentored exceptional artists and creators who have had to move away to find adequate and affordable studio space so we couldn’t be more ready for this development.

“Ocean Studios will now provide this much-needed space with a stack of added benefits for this creative talent pool and will continue to put Plymouth on the map as a centre for the very best of creative arts in the South West. We’re very much looking forward to seeing these people hard at work in this inspiring and impressive environment.”

Potential tenants should access or email

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