Royal College of Art to open new venue in London's latest cultural district

22nd October 2013

The Royal College of Art is to open a major new project space at Riverlight, an 800 home development by St James. Curated by award winning artist Kate Davis, this will help establish Nine Elms on the South Bank as a new cultural district for London
The new arts venue will provide a platform for RCA students to test their ideas and engage with the public. St James are providing a fully fitted, serviced retail venue, rent free, with an annual funding package for three years. This support is part of their cultural strategy for the development of Riverlight and is being given over and above any planning obligations required of the developer.
The venue is designed to let a public audience experience artwork as it develops and transforms over a period of time, providing a window into an artist's practice. It plans to open during autumn 2014 and will host public talks, performances and readings. The cultural strategy for Riverlight is one of seven plans designed to put art and culture at the heart of the regeneration of Nine Elms.
Sean Ellis, Chairman of the St James Group comments: "Culture and development should go hand in hand. It helps create successful places. The Royal College of Art seemed a natural choice for Riverlight because of its strong presence in the area. We hope this supports emerging artists, local residents and visitors alike."
The RCA has an established worldwide reputation for innovation through art and design. It already has a presence in Wandsworth, with the School of Fine Art based in the Battersea campus, shortly to be joined by the School of Material.
Dr Paul Thompson, Rector of the RCA said: "This partnership offers our young artists a fantastic public platform to develop new work - and new ways of working. It also helps cement our place in the Wandsworth creative firmament - one can almost draw a straight line from RCA Battersea through the Pump House Gallery to Riverlight."
Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council and co-chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, said: "This fantastic new arts space will help animate Nine Elms on the South Bank and draw the wider Wandsworth community into this new part of the borough. It's exactly the type of exciting cultural venue we want to create here. The RCA has become a major presence in Battersea in recent years and their move south of the river has brought new jobs and opportunities to local people. I'm delighted they are now taking a stake in Nine Elms."
ENDS

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Notes to editors:

About Riverlight
Riverlight is a development of 802 homes designed by world-renowned architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. It became the first river-fronting residential scheme to top out on Nine Elms in July 2013. 75% of the site is dedicated to open space with landscaped gardens, a pocket park, riverside walkway and a public piazza.
About St James
St James was established in 1996, originally as a joint venture with Thames Water. It has established a reputation as a design-conscious developer, able to transform derelict sites into beautiful, successful places. St James is a member of the Berkeley Group, which was voted Britain's Most Admired Company across all industries in 2011. In 2012, the Berkeley Group sustained 16,000 jobs and generated £2.6 billion of economic activity in Britain.

About Royal College of Art
The Royal College of Art is the world?s most influential postgraduate university of art and design. Specialising in teaching and research, the RCA offers the degrees of MA, MPhil and PhD across the disciplines of fine art, applied art, design, communications and humanities. There are over 1,200 enrolled Master's and research students and more than 1,000 professionals interacting with them - including leading art and design practitioners. www.rca.ac.uk

About Futurecity
Futurecity is a leading culture and placemaking agency that works within the property sector with award-winning artists, architects and the best landscape architects and engineers. Futurecity works closely with a wide range of public and private sector clients to manage the procurement, production and installation of cultural projects from inception through to completion.

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