In early 2015 we were looking into owning a retail premise when Auckland Castle approached us to partner with them and lead a new project. For some time we had been in talks with them about setting up an arts centre in Bishop Auckland and the culmination of this resulted in Pod. The project had been in the pipework for some time and Auckland Castle was looking for a committed team who could spearhead the project, bringing their expertise in the arts industry and providing the opportunity for mentoring, training and new possibilities. This was directly in line with our own passions to support local talent and boost economic regeneration.
Since February 2015 we have moved Gillian Arnold’s base of production, media, marketing and mentoring into Pod. This allowed us to be on site at all times enabling us to play a huge role in the creation of the infrastructure of this project, its branding and overall set up. The building was previously a supermarket and the work to be undertook was challenging but watching it come together was one of the most rewarding experiences we have been through.
Since then the social regeneration and economic restoration of Bishop Auckland has been incredible. Gillian’s husband Tim, and his family have been lifelong residents of this area, which has given Tim a much better understanding of the challenges that face Bishop Auckland, but also a unique view on all the positive change that has happened over the last few years.
So what is Pod?
The core aim of Pod is to develop creative business opportunities for the local area and establish a series of affordable studio’s and working spaces.
This will give artists and designers the space to work along with the expertise of an established design business, Gillian Arnold, to help guide and mentor them through this process. The overarching aim is that these businesses will move out and occupy the retail spaces in Bishop Auckland and the wider area, creating more jobs and commerce, turning Bishop Auckland into a hub for creativity and a tourist destination spot.
Pod is also an art gallery and retail space, and this has all come from the vision of producing a space to incubate and grow new businesses. It is host to many workshops throughout the year ranging from crafts, to life drawing classes and more developed workshops that help show designers how to get started in business.
If you want to get in touch with Pod directly you can find them HERE.