Hive HiveConnecting Creativity for over 30 years


The Seventies

Hive is in the basement of a building which, until 1975, was the St Pauls Parish, Church of England School. In 1975, the school was closed, the pupils moving to the new C of E School on Otley Rd. By 1978 there was a Community Centre in the building supporting a variety of voluntary groups. By the end of the decade the basement had become a drop in centre for the unemployed. Kirkgate Studios and Workshops (our former identity) emerged from the unemployment centre, in the early eighties offering the unemployed a variety of arts and crafts activities, supported by funding from Bradford Council.

The Eighties

In the eighties providing support for the long term unemployed became a focus of our work as government funding was received to run free courses for this group. The funding included money to use the Shipley College crèche, situated in the Community Centre. Courses in Pottery, Photography, Painting and Drawing were developed and we began running projects for local groups such as Shipley Resource Centre.

The Nineties

Whilst maintaining the drop in facilities, and starting to develop a range of courses, the nineties saw a big geographical expansion of KS&W's activities. In summer of 1990 the organisation's profile was greatly enhanced with an exhibition of work at Cartwright hall.

In the Mid nineties we signed a contract with Social Services to provide outreach activities for Care in the Community clients. We worked with community clubs, religious organisations and community centres to deliver a range of activities to older people. We also began a programme of creative and practical activities with young offenders that continues to this day. Whilst these activities paid for themselves through the funding we received, we continued to receive funding from Bradford Council to fund our drop in facilities.

The Noughties

In 2000 Kirkgate Studios and Workshops (which has now been re-named Hive) ran its first public art project. A ceramic tile mural, created by local school children was placed on the stair wall of Shipley Town Hall.

Further, public art, all designed with community involvement, has been commissioned since to enhance public spaces, such as health centres, throughout Bradford. While the Shipley Shopper, and Shipley in Bloom banners continue to decorate Shipley Market Square. During the noughties we kept our commitment to providing value for money creative courses and drop in facilities, changes to funding streams and cuts to core funding meant that this was at times hard work.

We faced the challenge head on and drove to find new streams of funding to develop the project further. Our first grant from the Big Lottery, in 2007, was to run the Woodworks Family Learning Project, in 2008 Reaching Communities funded a studio assistant and free courses for the over 50s and benefit claimants.  We achieved the hat trick in 2010 with our Eco Minds funded Out There project. 

Thanks to the commitment and hard work of staff, volunteers and management committee, Kirkgate Studios and Workshops (Hive) continued to offer a unique service. In 2012 to celebrate our 30th Birthday we began to think about the future and our place in the next 30 years of community arts provision in the district. The name Hive, a rebrand and our additional on line services form part of our continuing development and commitment to continuous improvement of our service.

April 2011 Kirkgate Studios and Workshops was re-furbished and in 2012 re-named Hive. Furthermore, a new project was started in September 2012 funded by Heritage Lottery Fund named 'Fabric of Bradford'. Fabric of Bradford is recognizing and celebrating our city's rich textile heritage while planning fun activities for people of all ages. We can now reach more people than ever thanks to our new website and with the aid of social media. More willing and helpful volunteers keep streaming through, thus resulting in more classes for the community and the family to enjoy. A big thank you to everyone who has helped us by either volunteering or funding. We would not be here without you.