Edinburgh Printmakers secures £1 million to support growth and help artists hit by pandemic

Arts organisation Edinburgh Printmakers has secured almost £1 million in funding to support its growth ambitions and aid artists hit by the pandemic.

Established in 1967 as the first open access studio in the UK, Edinburgh Printmakers operates as a charity specialising in printmaking.

Castle Mills, the new £11m home of the charity, is one of the largest printmaking facilities created for artists in Europe.

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The loan from ethical finance provider Social Investment Scotland (SIS) will support Edinburgh Printmakers as it expands the variety and scale of services it offers to communities, both locally and across Scotland.

Castle Mills, the new home of arts charity Edinburgh Printmakers, is one of the largest printmaking facilities created for artists in Europe. Picture: Jim Stephenson
Castle Mills, the new home of arts charity Edinburgh Printmakers, is one of the largest printmaking facilities created for artists in Europe. Picture: Jim Stephenson

Following its move to Castle Mills in spring 2019, the charity welcomed 46,000 visitors in the first six months (May to December). It is expecting further growth in visitor numbers in 2021, once lockdown restrictions have eased.

Shân Edwards, the organisation’s chief executive, said: “After a hugely uncertain year we are delighted to have secured this investment from SIS to help us reopen, rebuild and reimagine our programmes.

“As we look to the future, we’re focused on how we can support artists, who have seen their income and opportunities limited by the pandemic, along with the communities and audiences that have also been badly impacted.

“An expansion of our education programmes along with subsidised facilities and new residencies for artists are just some of the projects that we will be embarking upon over the next 18-months and we are grateful for SIS support to help us achieve these ambitions.”

Chris Jamieson, head of investments at SIS, which was established in 2001, added: “Edinburgh Printmakers has achieved a huge amount in its history and the recent move to Castle Mills creates an opportunity to significantly increase its cultural impact. I’m pleased that SIS has been able to support these ambitious growth plans, delivered by a team who are clearly passionate about increasing their positive impact on the surrounding community and arts sector in Scotland.

“At SIS, we believe that organisations such as Edinburgh Printmakers have a crucial role to play in rebuilding a more inclusive economy, where positive impacts for people and planet come first.”

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