New space will cater for student designers, silversmiths and public.
The Goldsmiths’ Centre, developed in the Farringdon area of London close to Hatton Garden, was officially opened yesterday by Princess Alexandra, completing years of development for what is set to be a contemporary hub for all members of the jewellery and silversmithing trades.
The Goldsmiths’ Centre represents the largest ever single investment, said to be in the region £17.5 million, by the Goldsmiths’ Company in support of its craft and industry.
The Centre has been set up as a charitable enterprise and will be focused on helping young people enter skilled employment through vocational training and nurturing.
The new Goldsmiths’ facility was built on an existing Victorian grade II listed structure, an old school built in 1872.
Princess Alexandra was given a guided tour of the space by the Goldsmiths’ Centre’s director Peter Taylor, which will focused on training and education to three distinct audiences: post-graduates, pre-apprentices and those already engaged in the craft and industry.
She was shown work by six post-graduate students: Mahtab Hanna, Ivonna Poplanska, Ben Ryan, Helen Smith, Liisa Tallgren and Rupert Todd.
The building houses a total of 19 workshops and 13 starter studios, providing workspace for up to 100 trade and young craftspeople at the outset of their career.
The Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company, Hector Miller, gave a short speech about the Centre in which he made reference to the “enormous debt of gratitude” owed to Dr Stuart Devlin, postgraduate programme director, whose ideas for a graduate institute began the project in 2005, after which Princess Alexandra was invited to unveil the commemorative stone.
Peter Taylor said: “The official opening of the Centre represents the culmination of seven years of hard work put in by the project team, the trustees and all the others who have contributed to this major initiative.
“We are delighted that HRH Princess Alexandra honoured us with her presence and made this an extra special day for all concerned by formally opening the Goldsmiths’ Centre.”