Ilkley Manor House Office & Studio Space Now Almost Fully Let

Six months after a simple refurbishment programme to provide office and studio space for creative and business activities, the Ilkley Manor House Trust has announced that all that units in its cottages are let, with the exception of one.

The three cottages were part of the package of assets transferred to the Ilkley Manor House Trust by Bradford Metropolitan District Council earlier this year. They were always intended to provide revenue to support an ambitious plan to turn the main medieval Manor House building and courtyard into a thriving heritage and arts centre for the town, so the new development is good news for everyone.

The tenants include a jeweller, artists working with the Ilkley Arts group, a filmmaker, a wellness practitioner, a photographer and the Ilkley office for the local MP John Grogan.

Laura Mate, an accomplished photographer, stylist and art director, has returned to her Yorkshire roots after spending ten years working in Paris, promoting brands such as Givenchy and shooting editorial images for lifestyle magazines. Looking ahead, she relishes the challenge of working with smaller independent companies and start-ups and helping them find their identity. ‘I love the eclectic mix my job offers and always feel so fortunate to work with such a variety of people and projects,’ says Laura.

Jeweller Libby Jubb works with silver and has made the lower ground floor of one of the cottages her new studio workshop. She’s relishing having a place of her own to work in and somewhere to welcome others who are keen to learn jewellery-making skills. ‘It’s a great space, where I can run workshops and show customers how to make something they will cherish,’ she says.

On the first floor, award-winning filmmaker and writer Charlie Swinbourne is hard at work on scripts for new projects, with help from his faithful cockapoo Monty. Charlie specializes in films for the deaf community and is rapidly making a name for himself. ‘I’m really excited about becoming part of the creative community at the Manor House,’ he says, ‘and I’m hoping it will lead to more collaborations and new work.’

Ilkley Arts have their new studio space in Cottage No 4 with a key partner, Art School Ilkley run by Sarah and John Gamble. Sarah is a secondary art teacher and a practising textile printmaker. John is a practicing artist who gained an MA in Creative Practice from Leeds Arts University. Both Sarah and John have experience in working with students of all ages and of differing educational needs and backgrounds. ‘I’m really excited to be running our Art School classes in such a beautiful inspiring place, surrounded by a group of supportive and creative tenants, says john Gamble. ‘Our clients have responded very positively to the new studio, exciting times ahead!

Cottage 2 is the home of the Wellness Mission that has been created by Michelle Thersby as a social enterprise wellbeing centre that aims to improve the physical and mental health of our wider community. ‘We are a hub that provides a range of therapies including physiotherapy, ayurveda, reiki, acupuncture, massage; we also have satellite clinics where we run groups such as yoga and Pilates classes, wood working Men’s Shed sessions, and peer support groups/ healing groups’ explains Michelle. ‘We are always looking for new and enthusiastic therapists to work with us so if you want to find out more about us do contact me’ Read more about the Wellness Mission on their website, facebook page or ring the founder, Michelle Thersby on 07734082584

Last but by no means least, local MP John Grogan is equally enthusiastic about his new office in the Manor House cottages. ‘I could not think of a better place to have a Parliamentary office in Ilkley than adjacent to the Manor House. We should be open in the next few weeks, joining quite an eclectic mix of tenants on the site.’ Ellie Robertson, Diary Secretary to John will be based in the office at the Manor House cottage too.

‘The Trust has come a long way in our first 6 months and the creation of this creative hub of businesses is part of the longer term plan to make the Manor House and surroundings a thriving space for heritage, culture, arts and learning’ said Sir Rodney Brooke, President of the Manor House Trust.

For further information, please contact Nick Robinson, Operations Manager at the Manor House at

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