Property group TWT is helping entrepreneurs in the creative arts fields to flourish by providing 4,500 square metres of heavily subsidised space within five buildings it owns at St Leonards.
Artists, art galleries, recording studios, photographers, fashion designers, clothing manufacturers, performance artists, multi-media firms, film production companies and theatrical groups are all using the space in Chandos and Atchison Streets, and Atchison Lane, to activate the precinct with fine-grain creative businesses.
The TWT Creative Precinct allows start-up business in niche markets to grow without the burden of having to pay commercial rent. It is now in its second year of operation under the guidance of Brand X, which is a not-for-profit arts organisation run by artists that take advantage of underutilised space for creative purposes.
“We are looking to help ‘risk-takers’ in eclectic and innovative fields build up a business until it is profitable enough to move into commercial premises, which frees up the space for new entrepreneurs,” said James Winter, the brainchild of Brand X.
“It usually takes a long time to see the germ of an idea fruit into a successful business, and many never get a chance to grow because there is not the funds or cash flow to pay the on-going rent. TWT has given the next generation of business practitioners the opportunity to develop their idea.
“We have a long list of entrepreneurs waiting to become a part of the TWT Creative Precinct, but all of the available space is currently occupied.”
One occupant is Cre8tiv Artspace, a fertile workshop in painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and print making, which holds regular art classes and exhibitions. Owner Yvonne Levenston said the workshop acts as a lifeline for artists, giving them the opportunity to create, display and promote their work.
“We have been here for two years thanks to the generosity of TWT as we certainly couldn’t afford to pay commercial rent for this space,” said Ms Levenston.
Each year TWT sponsors and Brand X hosts a ‘block party’ over one weekend where the general public can gain free access to enjoy exhibitions, performances, demonstrations and pop-up parties that showcase artists’ work.
“I’ve had detailed discussions with numerous property companies over the past decade and most say they want to engage with the arts, yet only two have ever made good their promises – Frasers and TWT. I hope the success of the Frasers arts precinct at Chippendale and the TWT Creative Precinct at St Leonards will encourage more developers to put people before profit and make space available to more artists,” Mr Winter said.
For further information about the TWT Creative Precinct go to: twtstleonards.com.au