Sounding the Alarm to Bexhill Creatives.
The former Bexhill Ambulance station has been transformed and rejuvenated into workshops and creative spaces thanks to businessman Richard Upton and anchor tenant Blacksmith Ben Wood.
The space, set along Beeching Road in Bexhill, is set to become a creative hub, further strengthening Bexhill’s cultural heritage and providing affordable space for artists and makers to master their crafts.
Owner Richard Upton and Blacksmith Ben Wood met when Ben was commissioned to complete a project at Richard’s house. Finding common ground in their love of the Arts, and with Ben needing to find a new home for his business, they embarked on a project together to create a space ideal for local creators.
Richard Upton is a creative entrepreneur with huge amounts of experience in development and investment. A keen patron of the Arts, and already a member of the East Sussex business community with The Bell Pub in Ticehurst, he invested £1/4 Million pounds into turning this disused space into a creative hub.
Community is at the heart of this project. It isn’t about commercial gain, it’s about providing affordable space for budding craftspeople, artists and makers. The 8 workshop spaces of varying sizes are available from £100 a month through to £750 a month, a below market rate for the type of space and the area. The community feel is further emphasised by the additional element of the tenancy agreement requesting that users of the space provide 1 hour a week of their time to community work, paying forward the goodwill.
Taking on the space in early 2022, Ben has completed the majority of the renovation work himself. He has done a marvelous job updating the electrics, putting in LED lighting, WIFI, and new heating. He has also ensured that homage is paid to the previous residents of the building, creating a staff room for our local ambulance service to put their feet up and recuperate during their breaks.
However, plans for the space do not stop there. Ben has already instructed a local Art Curator to decorate the walls with carefully selected pieces. And he hopes to run events in the space and surrounding green space. As a blacksmith himself, he also plans to adorn the space around the building with sculptures he has created.
It is an exciting development for the town, and Locate East Sussex will be working closely with the centre to support it’s ongoing success.