AN artist is calling on landlords to open up their disused properties in Blackpool to the creative sector.
Layton man Robin Ross has just been handed the keys to two floors of the former rock factory on Deansgate, and hopes to turn it into a thriving artistic centre.
He said: “I spoke to the landlord and explained that we’re artists –we don’t have much money.
“But he just got the whole concept and said do it.
“I’m hoping it’ll be open in two weeks time.”
The Rock Factory – as it will be known – will boast a large screen printing area, darkroom, office, studios and space for artists of all disciplines.
Mr Ross said: “It stands to reason we have to be The Rock Factory in Blackpool – in Birmingham artists have the Custard Factory and in Newcastle they’ve got the Biscuit Factory.
“Hopefully this will encourage other landlords to look at their empty premises and open them up to the creative sector.
“There’s so many buildings standing empty and there’s a lot of artistic talent out there with nowhere to display it.”
Mr Ross is the man behind the hugely-successful Sand Sea and Spray urban art exhibition in the resort earlier this year, and he’s already planning for future events in the town, including another international urban art show next year.
The Rock Factory already has two painters and a photographer on the upper floor – with more room available for other artists.
“Since I took over, there’s been a constant trail of people who’ve just found out about it,” said Robin. “They keep coming up the stairs to see me – painters, glass blowers, photographers – it’s wonderful.
“I’ve been working on the place for weeks and we’re nearly finished. There’s some wonderful features inside - the old wooden floors, the steel frame and the brickwork. I’ve varnished one brick wall exactly as it is to preserve it.”