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New art base for Preston city centre

Artistic plans: Manager Sam Buist and front of house manager Sofie Fowler, of Project Korova, outside the coffee shop on St Wilfrid Street, Preston

Artistic plans: Manager Sam Buist and front of house manager Sofie Fowler, of Project Korova, outside the coffee shop on St Wilfrid Street, Preston

Creative people from across Preston could soon have a new meeting place.

Art group Project Korova has submitted plans to transform a building in the heart of the city into an arts cafe.

The group, which has been running for around three years, says it felt the need for a more permanent venue for the city’s art community.

It has put forward plans for a building in St Wilfrid Street in Preston, close to Fishergate Baptist Church.

Manager Sam Buist said: “It was an idea we have had for quite a while. We looked at a couple of places as potential then we came across this building in July and thought it seemed just right.”

Sam said the idea for a venue had always been a long term plan but when the project was set up it wasn’t something they could go ahead with straightaway.

He said: “Downstairs is going to be a cafe and then the upstairs will be an events space.

“We are hoping the events stuff will run through the cafe, so downstairs will be a place for artists working together.

“And of course it will be open to the general public as a whole.

Project Korova organises various creative events in the city, including opportunities for people to showcase their work.

It currently uses various venues including The Adelphi pub, but will now use the new venue to deliver their activities.

The earmarked site used to be a tea room and a gift shop.

Sam said: “There’s quite a lot of building work to do.

“We would be looking to open around the end of April.”

A planning application submitted to the council states: “It is the intention of the applicant that the proposed will comprise of only internal alterations with updated, illuminated signage to the exterior.

“Internal alterations would comprise of the introduction of new kitchen and toilet facilities.

“Any external works to the building would only be undertaken to improve, preserve and enhance the historic character of the building.

“Any work to be undertaken would match the existing palette of white render, red/brown brick and blue/black slate.

“The advertisements proposed on the facades would be a direct replacement of the existing.

“The light fittings would also be a direct replacement of the existing.”

“The proposals seek to safeguard the character of the St Wilfrid Street area and not compromise its historic character.”

Project Korova was set up by Sam and friend Guy Flintham, 35.

The planning application is available to view on Preston Council’s website, search 06/2013/0082.

Comments on the proposals must be made to the council by March 9.

 

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