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A Successful Directors’ Evening...

Friday 31 March was an opportunity for the new Board of Directors at the Allendale

Forge Studios to make new friends, celebrate old ones and show off recent

developments at a Directors’ Evening.

The Board’s chair, Sandy Rutherford, welcomed guests, saying:

“We are delighted that so many of you have come to enjoy this evening, and giving us an opportunity to speak to you, as community representatives, about the recent changes, and we very much look forward to working with some of you in the future. Volunteer staff and other friends of the Forge have been helping us through this transition phase – painting, moving furniture about, hanging new works and cleaning through the building. All essential work, as we have accepted new pieces from artists anxious to join the project. Stunning crafts and original pieces not found anywhere else are now on display and the shop is looking fantastic.”

Sandy is supported by vice-chair Fran Williams and Board members Zoe Bell, Jina Gelder

and Lesley Gosling, to pool fresh ideas and encourage other talented people to use the

improved Forge facilities.

About 100 invited guests, including several members of the parish council, spent time

exploring the studios, gallery and shop, mingling with artists and crafts people, many of

whom are already exhibiting in the Forge. Visitors from the town and some from further

afield voiced their support, including a representative from the recently formed Community

Bank, which will be based in the Forge from the end of this month. Studio 11, the largest

rentable space, and a perfect workshop space, attracted interest from one guest as a venue

for future Board meetings and others were impressed by the ‘hot desking’ studios, ideal for

those with small businesses and little room at home for office work as free wi-fi is also an


A ‘not-for- profit’ enterprise, ‘Allendale Creative Artists’ began as a co-operative of

professional artists and small businesses in 2006, but soon outgrew its original location in

the Square. In 2010 the current building was designed and built, also in the Square, with

grants secured against a loan, and has fast became a hub for local artists and others from

further afield.

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