‘There’s a real optimism in the city’
16 June 2022
Yorkshire’s reputation as a creative hub is getting another boost this autumn with the arrival of Tileyard North in Wakefield.
The region which since its bid for Channel 4’s HQ has continued to proudly profile and celebrate its creative industries will become home to a new mixed-use space designed entirely around those businesses, as London company Tileyard expands its presence outside the M25.
The former Rutland Mills, opposite the Hepworth Art Gallery in Wakefield has over the last six years been undergoing a transformation with work really progressing throughout lockdown on what will be a space that has been designed to support photographers, videographers, music producers, writers and more from the ground up.
The concept of Tileyard started in May 2011 in London with the first building opening, the brain child of Paul Kempe and Nick Keynes. Starting with 10 music studios, the duo have now built over 140 additional studios and support around 175 creative businesses from the site.
Kempe and Keynes are passionate about the opportunity they see in Wakefield noting that the site which is due to open later this year has already secured a gin distillery and a company from Singapore which is planning to relocate most of its team into the new development.
Kempe said: “Everyone I bring up to Wakefield, they are blown away by I just sense there’s a real optimism in the city and I think people in Wakefield need to shout about themselves a little bit more, because they’re great people with lots of talent.”
The development which includes four buildings in its first phase and seven overall once phase two is also complete. Some have been designed specifically for music production which have been fully isolated and acoustically treated, while others include event spaces both inside and out.
Kempe noted that the council have really supported the development.
He said: “Wakefield Council were extremely good at helping us to secure Rutland Mills and we’ve been really lucky to have them give us really 1005% support throughout the process. We see huge talent in the city and the surrounding areas already and this talent pool has already needed this central community so that they could deliver on their potential and this is hopefully what we’re going to be providing.”
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