The Goldsmiths’ Company has announced a proposal to establish a major new centre for jewellery and silversmithing in the heart of Clerkenwell.
The Goldsmiths' Centre will include The Goldsmiths' Institute, a
state-of-the-art education and training facility for people wishing
to enter the industry, and will have exhibition, conference and
seminar spaces, a café, affordable fit-for-purpose workshop and
starter studio space.
The facilty will provide a resource for the existing industry,
opportunities in vocational training and a place for the public to
appreciate silversmithing and jewellery design.
"Whilst recognising the challenges that we face in an increasingly
competitive global marketplace, we believe that there is, and will
remain, a market for creatively designed and beautifully made
silversmithing and jewellery," said clerk of The Goldsmiths'
Company Dick Melly.
The project is the Company's largest undertaking in the last 100
years, with a total estimated development cost of £14m. The site,
currently known as Eagle Court, already has a listed schoolhouse on
it, which will be incorporated with a new building. Completion has
been scheduled for 2010 but will depend on planning permission and
contracts, and the Centre will ultimately be run by an independent
charity established for the purpose.
The investment in the centre is a direct result of the Goldsmiths'
Company's involvement with the City Fringe Partnership, an economic
development and regeneration partnership for the areas of London
that are north and east of the "Square Mile" and cooperation with
the London Development Agency, the Mayor of London's agency for
sustainable economic growth.
The Goldsmiths' Institute will offer two new programmes: a
one-year pre-apprentice programme for young people who wish to gain
a skills base before entering the industry or further education,
and a one-year post-graduate programme to prime graduates for a
professional design career. These will run alongside the
traditional exhibitions and events programme at The Goldsmiths'
• On September 22-24 The National Association of Goldsmiths' will
hold their annual Conference for Valuers & Jewellers at the
usual venue, Loughborough University.
It will include workshops, presentations, an open forum, a debate
on diamond certification and a session on the role of the jewellery
valuer. The conference package fee is £315 for N.A.G. members and
£405 for non-members, with flexible rates for single day
attendance. Contact Sandra Page on 02920 813 615,
By Stephanie Harris
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