A screen-printing studio will be blending more than inks when it opens with a new name following its move to a much larger unit at FarGo Village.
Print Manufactory – which is currently closed in line with the Government’s Covid regulations – will be re-named Commonground when it is allowed to re-open at the City’s Creative Quarter.
Business partners Kate Rossin and Jon Randle are moving the highly successful business from unit ten to much larger premises at unit five, formerly the home of Twisted Barrel Ale Brewery & Tap House.
This has been made possible through the Cultural Capital Investment Fund which includes an allocation from the Getting Building Fund from the Government through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).
The expansion means the business can provide a more varied offer with an exhibition space for aspiring artists and a café which will be run by Paul Stronach, who is behind the successful Table and Wine pop-up eateries. The new operation will be open seven days a week.
Kate said there would now be three different strands to Commonground.
She said: “We’re currently a printing studio and a design store for customers to buy prints
and independently made items. We have also incorporated a large dark room into this space.
“When we can re-open, we’re going to have a café where we have sourced the right kind of suppliers including award-winning Origin coffee and exhibition space with one of the walls through the entire unit being for curated projects as well as individual artists which are particularly important during Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture and the work that is going on throughout the area.
“We will also be carrying on with the workshops to teach people how to use cameras, take better photographs and learn screen printing.
“One of the aspects we have been proud of since we started Print Manufactory is that it is a great place to hang out and stay for a chat and we feel this is a natural progression from our old building to the new place.
“Unfortunately, the darkroom isn’t coming with us because it is hard to build another bespoke space but we have kept the equipment so we may be able to find an alternative home for it at some point.
“We’re really happy that we have been able to expand at FarGo Village which is where we launched the business in 2018.”
Kate said she and Jon felt privileged to be able to grow at a time when many businesses are struggling to survive due to the pandemic.
She added: “That is partly due to the support we have received from the FarGo team.
“They are helping us with the refurbishment and alterations work in the new unit to make it as easy as possible to complete the move.
“We’re hoping the building work will be completed by the end of February but when we open is dependent on Government advice.”
Adam Gudgeon, of FarGo Village, said it was great to have been able to facilitate the move of Print Manufactory.
“Kate and Jon have built a really successful business with a loyal customer base and their new unit will allow them to showcase work from local artists as well as open a coffee shop which will enhance the visitor experience,” he said.
“In these difficult times, it is fantastic we have been able to offer them the opportunity to move into larger premises at FarGo to expand their operations and they have a really exciting future.
“They, like others before, have expanded their business on-site and the unique grow on space at the village enables a progression for start-ups to expand their business whilst remaining part of the FarGo community.
“We are looking forward to being the other side of lockdown, and welcoming the public back when it is safe to do so.
“All the independent business at FarGo Village are so reliant on the support of customers and many of them have been working on establishing and improving their online platforms. However, we are so much more than that, and we long for the day we can meet in person, interact face-to-face and share a coffee perhaps over some common ground!”.
Nick Abell, the chair of the CWLEP, added: “The Getting Building Fund was established to support projects which would help the economic recovery due to Covid-19 as well as creating and safeguarding jobs.
“FarGo Village has a key part to play in helping the independent creative sector in Coventry when shops are allowed to open again and we wish Kate and Jon every success in their new premises.”