College relocates to Finsbury Park’s growing ‘art hub’

Students and teachers at the Blake College of Art and Design launch party in Finsbury Park

Students and teachers at the Blake College of Art and Design launch party in Finsbury Park - Credit: Archant

An art college has relocated to Finsbury Park where it joins a growing community of artists.

Blake College of Art and Design, which offers BTEC courses in Fine Art, Interior, Graphic Design and Photography, has moved to Woodfall Road, by Finsbury Park Station, after its lease expired at its former premises in Bloomsbury Street.

The move, which took place in October, was celebrated at a launch party attended by students, teachers and locals last week.

“We’ve always been in a very central location in London but when we started looking round for a new place we found out Finsbury Park was very up-and-coming in terms of the arts with lots of new businesses moving here,” the college’s managing director, Ruth Brooks, said.

“The facilities are really good in terms of space and it’s a very accessible area.”

Price was also a factor. “In central London the rents are so extortionate at the moment,” she said.

The college is just the latest artistic institution to join the area, with neighbouring businesses including the Park Theatre and the framing and conservation business John Jones. Last year, John Jones launched the John Jones Art Building, which has exhibition and gallery space and hosts talks, seminars and workshops. Part of the building is also let out to creative businesses including Push PR, Pre Loaded, Yawn Creative and Film London.

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The area is also home to Sketch House, a hall of residence belonging to the University of the Arts, which can house up to 475 students.

“It’s interesting that UAL chose Finsbury Park,” said Ms Brooks. “For us, it’s good because we are about to launch a spate of evening and professional development courses which might be quite relevant for students.”

A spokesman for John Jones said: “We’re delighted to see the changes in Finsbury Park and to be a part of the regeneration that has become a creative hub in recent years. We work closely with our neighbouring businesses Park Theatre, IAMs School and UAL’s Sketch House, along with the number of excellent independent shops and restaurants popping up that bring a cultural vibe to the community. It’s fantastic to welcome Blake College adding to the growing art scene.”