Wasps Studios, the UK’s largest provider of artist studios, has announced that it will be selling one of their buildings in Glasgow’s east end after a building survey concluded that an estimated £3M investment would be needed for safeguarding and refurbishment.

This difficult decision to sell East Campbell Street studios was made by the charity’s Board in response to escalating maintenance and running costs across their estate, compounded by a recent building survey that indicated the building was significantly deteriorating beyond what the organisation’s lean budget could afford to fix.

East Campbell Street studios – also known as Gallowgate Studios or Dovehill Studios – is home to a close-knit community of around 40 artists, including renowned printmakers and painters, and has been a cherished part of Wasps’ estate since 1995.

In light of the financial challenges faced, Wasps has accepted an offer from a buyer to purchase the three upper floors owned by Wasps and operated as artist studios. A condition of this deal set out by Wasps is to allow existing artists at East Campbell Street the opportunity to extend their stay at the building for up to two years under the new owner.

Wasps is committed to supporting their artist community with safe, sustainable studio space and will be working with all artists based at East Campbell Street to find a solution that works for them in either another Wasps studio building or elsewhere, ensuring a long term future as a practicing artist.

Should any artist wish to move to another building within Wasps’ estate instead, the charity is giving them first priority for space at their three other Glasgow locations, supporting them with their relocation costs and freezing rents at the rate they currently pay for a period of three months to help with the transition.

Members of Wasps’ team and Board have now met with the artists at East Campbell Street to discuss the implications of the sale, and the charity have said they are committed to supporting them during this significant change.

“We understand this news may be concerning for our East Campbell Street artist community but we are dedicated to supporting them through this transition.” said Wasps CEO Audrey Carlin, “It would be unthinkable to add a £3M+ bill to our national artist community, this is not something Wasps or our artist tenants can afford. However, we remain steadfast in our mission of providing creative spaces for Scotland’s artists and makers.”

Wasps Studios is but one cultural institution faced with such challenging decisions to secure their survival. Last year, Creative Scotland warned the Scottish government that up to a third of the country’s arts organisations faced insolvency because of unsustainable increased costs, loss of profit and dwindling funding opportunities.

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