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Allendale Forge Studios


Art & Craft Centre


Client – Allendale Creative Artists CIC

Architect – Kevin Doonan Architect

Completion – March 2011

Value - £510,000

The Forge Studios business plan was formed in 2007 by the Allendale Creative Artists lead by its chair Amanda Galbraith.

The group had purchased an old derelict garage in the centre of Allendale and their ambition was to raise funds to construct a centre which could be used by the local community, local artists and craftsmen to produce and sell their works.

The derelict garage was demolished and the new 3 storey building, including basement was constructed over a year period. We worked closely with the client and design team to ensure that the project came within their tight budget and the resultant building was of a very high standard with minimal future maintenance costs. We suggested several design changes which were adopted due to their initial costs savings and/or whole life cycle cost.


Funding for the scheme was through a variety of organisations, including Northumberland Council, The Big Lottery Fund, Defra, One North east, The North Pennines AONB Partnership, The European Regional Development Fund & Social Enterprise Northumberland. Due to the various sources of income we had to produce breakdowns and backups to enable the client to comply with the various bodies’ requirements so that they could claim their funds. Throughout the contract we had to work with the client and permitted extended payment terms to suit their cashflow.

The building was completed slightly behind schedule due to 2 very extreme winters that our site team had to endure in this fairly remote location.

The studios were opened in the spring of 2011 by Prince Edward and the facilities have been utilised by tourists, the local community, local artists, musicians and school children since. The building also features recording studios, a café and art gallery.