Barrow Mayor Helen Wall opens Cooke’s Studio building in Abbey Road


A HISTORICAL building transformed into a new place of art for the city was officially inaugurated.

Barrow Mayor Helen Wall on Thursday opened the newly renovated Cooke’s Studios building on Abbey Road.

The building was inaugurated at the launch of the West Coast Photo Festival, the largest digital art festival ever to showcase the rugged beauty of Cumbria’s west coast.

Hosted by Signal Film and Media, this major festival for Cumbria will take place over two floors, showcasing a new collection of Cumbria-focused west coast works produced by internationally renowned photographers, presented alongside images and films by ‘local artists.

The old abandoned building at 102 Abbey Road has been refurbished by Creative Studios Cumbria, a charity created by Signal Film and Media founders Kerry Kolbe and Loren Slater to provide affordable and high-quality creative spaces for charities and community groups.

Kerry Kolbe said: “We want to make this a warm and friendly place where people can come together to enjoy local creative talents and skills themselves, as well as celebrate the heritage and culture of the region. We hope this new space will allow more people than ever to be creative and have fun.

The West Coast Photo Festival kicked off Thursday and will run through November 7.

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