Old library to be studio and gallery for artists

ARTISTS will have a place to work and exhibit when a former library is transformed into a gallery and studios.

The old library above Queens Square in Corby has been standing empty since the new one opened in the Cube in November 2010.

Northamptonshire County Council, which leases the building from town centre owners Helical Bar, has offered to hand it over to Corby’s artists for a peppercorn rent.

The first big event to be held at the Old Library Gallery and Studios will be the Corby Open 2012 Show which will run from 11am until 4pm every Wednesday to Saturday, from Friday, March 9, until Saturday, March 31.

Corby writer and musician Paula Boulton, who has worked with a group of artists to secure the old library as a gallery, said: “This is terrific news for Corby and its artistic community.

“There is a small gallery in the Old Village, which has been doing an incredible job, but the old library will provide a central base for artists to work and hold exhibitions.

“There are 13 years to run on the lease and the building can be easily adapted.

“The new gallery will be run as a not-for-profit venture and we will be relying on a lot of support from the town.”

A meeting is being held at the old library at 1.30pm on Friday to set up a committee to run the gallery and studios and to come up with ideas to finance the project.

The studio space will be rented out to artists and it is hoped the building will become Corby’s artistic hub.

Organisers of the Corby Open 2012 Show, which will include work by more than 40 local artists, have spent the past week setting up the first exhibition.

The library has been fitted out with items from the neighbouring former Corby Women’s Centre.

Paula said: “The old library was completely empty, just walls and carpet, so it is the perfect canvas for us to set up the gallery.

“We have been able to equip the kitchen with items from the former women’s centre, some of which dates back to 1986 when it opened.

“Everything has fallen into place. This is a really exciting venture and I hope people who are involved in, or interested in Corby’s artistic and creative community, come along to the meeting on Friday to help get the new gallery and studios up and running.”