A Brief History
Set up in 1986 by a group of sculptor graduates from Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop was an artist-run organisation for many years.
Having been housed in a draughty old railway shed for many years, in 2003 we began a capital campaign for a new building designed to meet the needs of contemporary practitioners which would provide an accessible and welcoming venue promoting interaction between artists and audiences.
With funding secured from Creative Scotland for 72% of the £3.6M costs and a land gift from the City of Edinburgh Council, we brought in the remaining funds over a five year period.
The Bill Scott Sculpture Centre was opened in June 2012 by Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs. Named after our inspirational Chair, Professor Bill Scott, whose vision and energy drove the capital campaign the Sculpture Centre has been designed by Sutherland Hussey Harris Architects to provide a professional working environment for artists.
In 2009 while we were finishing the first capital campaign, an incredibly generous opportunity was launched for proposals for a new cultural building which would benefit the city. Run as an open competition, the Arts Funding Prize for Edinburgh was funded by anonymous donors and administered by Foundation Scotland, and attracted applications from 13 arts organisations at the initial stage.
A shortlist of three organisations was selected by the judging panel – Izi Metzstein, Lord William Prosser, Sir Charles McKean and Colin Liddell. After twelve months of design development and public consultation which led to the development of a building we called the Creative Laboratories, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop was awarded the £3M prize in October 2010. We were fortunate to be able to continue working with our design team on this project – Sutherland Hussey Harris Architects, David Narro Associates, Aecom, Rankin Fraser and Thomson Bethune.
The Creative Laboratories was opened in November 2014 by Richard Calvocoressi CBE.