The Harlow Vacant Spaces initiative by Harlow Renaissance, Harlow Council, Harlow Town Centre Partnership and Essex County Council aimed to create temporary studios to meet the needs of local artists, to help counteract the negative effect of vacancies on the local economy, to contribute to arts development in the town and to promote opportunities for the future provision of permanent studios.
ACAVA, working with the consortium, set up Gatehouse Arts to provide an integrated approach to solving these problems. With aditional financial support from Arts Council England, Gatehouse Arts aims to support the professional development of visual artists in Harlow, reversing the loss of creative talent, and supporting the cultural and economic development of the region. It seeks to inspire local artists, and by providing mentoring opportunities and space for making and showing work, encourage ambition, innovation and confidence. It also enables artists to engage with the artistic legacy of Harlow, with its regeneration and with its people.