UPDATE: We are very sorry to say that our wonderful shop regeneration initiative – a first for Harrow, has been closed down. Apparently, the council’s business unit wrote to the landlords intimating that the charity Healthy Planet UK, that we were working with was charging rent – of course it wasn’t, and the charity has written a strong worded response to this.
It seems that the council received a huge grant to do what Usurp was doing for free and wanted the premises. We were pushed out and unfortunately the council refused to collaborate or partner – so much for helping our creative communities thrive…If you would like further details about this sad state of affairs, please contact us. It is shameful that this has happened and a blow to the possibility of creating future, valued relationships for arts and culture and self start ups in Harrow.
Our original post and links to the newspaper article below:
Usurp is delighted to announce that it has regenerated another disused, empty shop in the centre of Harrow as a creative space – a first for the borough. Big thanks to the charity, Healthy Planet UK, for cleaning up the space and enabling us to use the shop rent free. We are holding free public, screen printing and arts learning workshops. Thanks also to Linda Galvin at London Freecycle for their support. Sba Shaikh, our talented Usurp Associate textile artist, will be there every day to show you how to screen print, block print and much more. Sba will also be exhibiting her large scale, textile works and giving advice on how to create your own printing press. We are looking forward to making this our second home, sharing skills and knowledge, and creating new arts learning projects – if you have an idea, contact us! We are also giving away 1000’s of free books donated to Healthy Planet so come along and share skills and a cup of tea! See the feature in the Observer at the link here and as text below the photographs: http://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/leisure/localexhibitions/9305043.Galleries_popping_up_all_over_Harrow
More about Sba Shaikh here: http://www.mehraj.co.uk