The Goldsmiths’ Centre will serve as a hub for members of the jewellery, silversmithing and allied trades, as well as for the general public. The centre represents the largest ever single investment (circa £17.5 million) by the Goldsmiths’ Company in support of its craft and industry. It has been set up as a charitable enterprise and at its core is the aim to help young people to enter skilled employment through vocational training, in addition to “nurturing an enduring community of like-minded individuals and businesses from the industry and associated trades.”
Situated in London’s Clerkenwell, an area traditionally associated with the watchmaking and silversmithing trades, the new facility incorporates an existing Victorian grade II listed structure – one of the first London Board Schools built in 1872 – combined with an exciting new build element.
A major element of the centre is the workshops and starter studios, which are housed in the new build element of the building – a total of 19 workshops and 13 starter studios, providing workspace for up to 100 trade and young craftspeople at the outset of their career.
The chairman of the board of trustees Mr Martin Drury said: “Our intention is that the centre will be a place of excellence; a place of learning and study where skills are passed on and where beautiful things are made and sent out into the world to be treasured. It is hoped that in time, the Goldsmiths’ Centre will take its place among the great institutions of London.”
At the end of the Royal visit, Peter Taylor, director of the Goldsmiths’ Centre, said: “The official opening of the centre represents the culmination of seven years of hard work put in by the project team, the Trustees and all the others who have contributed to this major initiative. We are delighted that HRH Princess Alexandra honoured us with her presence and made this an extra special day for all concerned by formally opening the Goldsmiths’ Centre.”