In August 2008, Edinburgh Palette successfully negotiated for several floors of St Margaret’s House – a vacant, ex-office building on London Road (next to Meadowbank Stadium).
By Spring 2010, Edinburgh Palette had leased all the remaining floors of St Margaret’s House and filled all 200 studios with budding artists, crafters and community organisations.
Disused, dormant buildings often cost their owners considerable investment to maintain and are prone to decay. By occupying these buildings at discounted rates, Edinburgh Palette can make these buildings cash flow positive and arrest their decay.
As a registered charity Edinburgh Palette is also afforded rate relief by Edinburgh City Council. These factors combined make it financially feasible for Edinburgh Palette to transform a derelict building into low-cost studio space for artists, crafters and community.
Importantly, Edinburgh Palette remains viable with no external funding.
Edinburgh Palette was not only created to support the arts but to clearly demonstrate that, given the right encouragement and circumstances, ‘Artists’ can “do Business” and be creative and profitable without funding. Freedom from funding allows management and artists to take advantage of any given situation, responding to need and aspiration with some fiscal control over their income, costs and therefore their projects and developments.
The experience of Edinburgh Palette is to encourage market-led income and, by taking advantage of economies of scale, to supplement, house and develop art and community projects, such as Upward Mobility.
Edinburgh Palette is also free to consider all arts and craft proposals (including therapy, sport, education and foreign residencies) without prejudice or restrictions imposed by funders.
New prospective buildings are compared to established Edinburgh Palette guidelines, such as preferred building size, location, layout, essential facilities, costs per m2 and tenant interest. Meeting these established guidelines significantly reduces project risk, ensures economies of scale can be reached and the cost structure effectively managed.