Armstrong Studio Trust.
Founder Member (1985 – present)
An artist led partnership project to save William (Lord) Armstrong’s Banqueting Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne in line with his 1883 Deed of Gift. This stipulates that the building be used for purposes directly connected with Arts, Science, Literature and Education. AST have been in occupancy since 1986 and since 2014 have been working on a larger scheme to reinstate the wishes of the donor by active use and investment through the Fine Arts and innovation.
The building was converted into a "Controlled Ruin" in 1977 during the controversial modernisation of Newcastle by partial demolition of the complex including removal of the original Banqueting Hall roof, the building having fallen out of general use.
Additional partners and colleagues include or have included The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, The National Trust, Jesmond Heritage, Jesmond Residents Association, The Friends of Jesmond Dene, The Victorian Society, Newcastle University, Northumbria University and the recently established Newcastle Parks and Allotments Charitable Trust , Urban Green.
Blue Sky Thinking
AST’s own work encompasses direct studio practice, and secondary benefits from this including teaching, training and mentoring in the Fine Arts, research projects, support for the university sector in the North East (Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland), Arts in Health initiatives, work placements, landscape management, exhibition opportunities for artists and community engagement