Hot Bed Press was established in 1994 by a small group of graduates/artists looking for somewhere to print.
Originally called Manchester Artists’ Papermaking and Printmaking Studio it changed its name in 1999 and registered as a not-for-profit Company Limited by Guarantee.
We relocated in 2004 to the Casket Works, Salford, a Victorian Warehouse owned by Salford City Council. (The previous premises were the old fire station on Chapel Street, Salford, and before that, Hot Bed was within City College Manchester.) The new premises were much bigger. The first floor space needed a lot of work in painting and ripping out old fittings from a disused engineering works, and as usual everyone pitched in to make it happen.
In 2006 HBP made a successful application to the Arts Council of England, to support the employment of a Development Manager, (2 year project). We were also able to employ a part time administrative worker. This staffing, (our first paid staff), enabled HBP to build on its core activities. The course programme was expanded and membership has continually risen from 35 members in 2006 to over 150 members currently and from 12 courses a year to over 50 now. The funding ended in 2008, but we have been very lucky and diligent enough to become self-sustaining as an arts organisation. We do not receive core funding and are proud to have become an example of how to be a successful self-financing arts organisation. We have even bigger ambitions and hope to gain funding for major projects planned over the next year or so.
We are also proud to be working with our sponsors/partners; Intaglio Printmaker, Ratchfords Book Arts Suppliers, Screenstretch and most recently Turners Art Supplies who support our course programmes through providing materials. This is a great support to our courses and enables us to provide the best quality materials on all our courses.
In 2010 took on an extra floor with the help of a one-off grant from The Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company. This enabled us to open up the first floor to create a bigger, more open and spacious workshop and to develop our facilities with an expanded letterpress facility, with thanks to Manchester Metropoltan University, who donated the letterpress and a beautiful Albion Press when they downscaled their own workshop. It also enabled us to create a bigger education area.
At the same time we took the opportunity to take on extra space by knocking through a wall into next door, (Cow Lane Studios – which has sadly just closed due to increasing costs from our landlords Salford City Council), to create a new etching room, which in turn has allowed us to set out a large screenprint room, which previously had 3 beds and vied with etching and relief over space. Now with 6 beds we really can offer superb facilities to all our members and to over 400 people who come on our courses every year.
We continue to grow and have ambitious plans for the future as we establish ourselves as one of the major arts providers in Salford and Greater Manchester.
We started running The Complete Printmaker in January this year, . This year-long course gives students an experience akin to a year on a printmaking degree course. With universities charging more in fees than ever before we find ourselves in a strong position to teach a high level of printmaking knowledge and skills with open access and a year’s membership thrown in. We are now looking at other long term courses and also continue to have links with the Universities of Manchester and Salford.