10th Anniversary Celebrations for The Ropewalk
Barton upon Humber’s Ropewalk celebrates its 10th anniversary later this month as a regionally acclaimed centre for the arts.
And to celebrate its first decade, Ropewalk Contemporary Arts & Craft is returning to the five Lincolnshire artists who formed the first ever exhibition at the Maltkiln Road gallery.
Exhibitions Officer Richard Hatfield explained: “For our 10 th anniversary exhibition, Ten Years On, we are returning to where it all began for us with work from Twink Addison, David and Avril Morris and Edith and Walter Cook.”
Turning the clock back to 1999 Richard recalled:“ “The Scarborough based Proudfoot Group had bought the former Ropery site in the mid-1990s as the site for its superstore but the Ropewalk itself had been empty for just under 10 years before work started on its conversion.
“Ten years ago, when we opened, we had just one gallery, four artists’ studios, printmaking, frame making facilities and a dark room,” he recalled.
“In 2000 we could hardly envisage that in just five years we would be able, with assistance financial and otherwise, from the Proudfoot family who own the building, North Lincolnshire Council, Arts Council England, Yorkshire Forward, the Single Regeneration Budget and WREN that we would be able to renovate and bring back to life the entire quarter-mile long building.”
“Now we have an additional three gallery spaces, an outdoor sculpture garden, treble the number of artists’ studios and units for creative industries. And, of course, there is also Ropery Hall which attracts top names in music, theatre and comedy and the ever-popular Ropery Coffee Shop.”
Looking back over the past 10 years, Richard believes that The Ropewalk has firmly cemented a place for itself in the local community in beyond.
“When we first opened we just had one paid member of staff – now we have 26 who all come from Barton and the surrounding area,” he said. “And visitor numbers have soared from about 18,000 in our first year to 42,500 last year which in itself was an eight per cent increase on 2008.”
The exhibition, Ten Years On, opens on Saturday, April 24 and continues until Sunday, May 30. Admission is free and the gallery is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and on Sundays and Bank Holidays between 10am and 4pm.