Helmsley supports Fabrication Crafts with Coney Street move

Linette Withers and Alexia Swift-Cookson

Social enterprise Fabrication Crafts has found a new home on York’s Coney Street thanks to property and development company Helmsley Group.

The independent organisation, which supports dozens of local artists and makers, has become a popular destination in the city centre having been based in Coney Street since November 2018.

Established in 2008, Fabrication Crafts supports local artists and makers with making and retail space. It has supported more than 50 makers since launching in Coney Street.

It has been looking for a new home after revealing its current lease was coming to an end this month.

Helmsley has stepped in, with Fabrication moving from its current home to unused space, formerly occupied by River Island, within 19 Coney Street.

Helmsley acquired the 50,000 sq ft 19 Coney Street retail unit, currently occupied by Next and Monsoon, last month.

The acquisition, from NFU Mutual, is the latest in a series made by Helmsley on Coney Street, with the company owning several other buildings at the major city centre retail destination.

Alexia Swift-Cookson, head of asset management at Helmsley Group, said: “As a well-established York-based business, Helmsley is passionate about supporting local organisations and helping the city to prosper.

“We are fully committed to bringing a new lease of life to York’s riverfront and redeveloping Coney Street as a high-quality commercial destination. We’re delighted to have supported Fabrication Crafts through this letting, ensuring it can continue to make a positive impact in the area.

“Coney Street has a rich history of independent trade stretching back many hundreds of years and Fabrication Crafts is a fantastic organisation continuing this tradition. We look forward to watching it go from strength to strength supported by us in Coney Street over the years to come.”

Dawn Wood, chief executive of Fabrication Crafts, said: “We are hugely grateful to Helmsley Group for its help in securing this letting, which enables us to stay on the amazing Coney Street.

“Our new and bigger shop will enable us to support more local makers, have creative workspaces and launch a community hub bringing together local organisations.

“We love being based here and are passionate like Helmsley Group in helping Coney Street to have a vibrant and thriving future. Our work on the Coney Street Heritage Project during 2020-21, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, shows how adaptable the street is and demonstrates how it can grow and change for the future.”

Helmsley Group and Fabrication Crafts are both partners in the Street Life Project, which is being led by University of York researchers.

Premises at 29-31 Coney Street – let to the project by Helmsley Group – have been transformed into a gallery, printing press and cultural hub with activities including music, creative writing, printing and heritage workshops.

Street Life has received funding of £469,000 from the Government’s Community Renewal Fund to not only explore the 1,000-year history of Coney Street but support the creation of opportunities for the future.

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