Hot Bed Press
Hot Bed Press Printmakers' Studio | The Casket Works, Cow Lane, Salford. M5 4NB | Tel: 0161 743 3111 | Email: info@hotbedpress.org

Hot Bed Press was established in 1994 by a small group of graduates/artists looking for somewhere to print. We have come a long way since then.

Originally called Manchester Artists’ Papermaking and Printmaking Studio (MAPPS), we became Hot Bed Press in 1999 and registered as a not-for-profit Company Limited by Guarantee.

After a couple of moves; from within City College Manchester and lastly from The Old Fire Station on Chapel Street, Salford, we relocated in 2004 to the first floor of the Casket Works, Salford, a Victorian Warehouse owned by Salford City Council, at that time alongside Cow Lane Studios, (who moved out in 2016). The new premises, even occupying just a fraction of the building were much bigger then before. The first floor space needed a lot of work in painting and ripping out old fittings from a disused engineering works, and relied on a hardcore of artists pitching in to make it happen, building studios, sorting out electrics and bringing up equipment.

In 2006 we 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 Studio Administrator. This staffing, (our first paid staff), enabled Hot Bed Press to expand membership and courses. Membership has continually risen from 35 members in 2006 to over 290 members currently and over the next few years we went from running just 12 courses a year to between 40 and 50 every year, which along with usage, studio hire and events has enabled us to become a fully self-sustaining independent arts organisation and masters of our own destiny. We do not receive core funding and are proud to have become an example of how to be a successful self-financing arts organisation.

Expansion

In 2010 Hot Bed Press took on an extra floor, (with the help of a small 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 education area. Not long afterwards we took the opportunity to take on extra space by knocking to create a new etching room, which in turn allowed us to set out a larger screenprint room.

In 2013 we started running The Complete Printmaker course, (after discussions with The University of Salford over running a degree or masters course didn’t quite get off the ground). The Complete Printmaker course was so popular we had to run 2 courses, a morning and an evening course, and a year later students wanted to do more and carry on to an advanced level, so we started a second year and went on a year later to have a third year, which has carried on ever since. The complete courses (which have extended to Complete Book Arts and Complete Letterpress), also paid for a technician and a couple of years later a second Technician, so we now have 4 salaried staff and Technician cover for 45 hours a week.

Our biggest development to date was the huge success of buying our building. After a 3 year struggle to purchase the building from Salford City Council, we bought the whole of the 30,000sq ft building in 2017. We were successful in a Grant for The Arts funding bid from Arts Council for ┬ú168,000, (the first time we had had funding since 2006), and received ┬ú168,000 towards purchasing the building and developing the first floor, replacing the roof and all first floor windows. This major expansion on the first floor including ripping out all the old Cow Lane Studios and building new artists’ studios and expanding the print rooms made a dramatic impact on the workshop. We have spent over a quarter of a million pounds on this. But this is just phase one. Phase 2, due to start in 2019-20 will include the development of the ground floor, (with funding sought), and an investment of up to ┬ú2 million creating a huge print workshop connected across 2 floors, and giving us ground floor fully accessible facilities plus the capacity for a large expansion to include textile printing and lots more besides.

We are proud to be landlords and custodians of such a great building. It needs a lot of work and needs vision and a lot of work, (and money), to achieve our lofty ambitions, but as everything we have done over the past 12 years has exceeded expectations and surpassed all projections, the sky is the limit. We have come a long way, but there’s really exciting times ahead.

Sean Rorke – Artistic Director


before (2007)

now (2019)