The Arts Barge Project. Can you float their boat?

View of barge on river, under bridge

This week I have mostly been inspired by … The Arts Barge Project – their impressive and inventive plans to provide a community arts venue on the river, on a barge.

The question is ‘Can you float their boat?’

So much work has already been done, and right now they need to raise just a little more money, in the next few days, to reach a £5000 target. At the time of writing they need only another £500 or so. How you can help >

Many readers of this website will remember the Arts Centre, in the old St John’s church on Micklegate. This project would provide a replacement, river-based venue. I’m hoping that some ex-Yorkies who I know have fond memories of York, and of the Arts Centre – and who have maybe not yet heard about the funding campaign – will help the Arts Barge Project reach their target.

The vessel pictured is the one they’re hoping to buy – or if not, similar.

It might not look like much just now, and was referred to as ‘that floating skip under Skeldergate Bridge’ in an amusing message on Twitter. But it looked handsome enough for me to take the photo above, when passing about a month ago, though I didn’t know at the time that there were plans for it. It just caught my attention.

By the Bonding Warehouse, in the heart of the city, it was good to see a vessel which wasn’t just there for tourist trips.

It would be good if it wasn’t just sitting there waiting for something to happen, but instead was a happening place.

It’s often said that we should make more of our rivers in the city. Here’s a brilliant opportunity to do so.

They’ve got the skills and the energy and the love …
Have you got some money …?

Please fund us – The Arts Barge Project

Follow on Twitter – @ArtsBarge

I missed the event last summer, shown on the video on their website. Did any readers participate in/visit?

Tag(s): rivers, arts

About Lisa @YorkStories

Lisa @YorkStories is the creator, administrator, and writer of content on She can be contacted on this link or via Twitter, @YorkStories
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  1. rebecca horner

    We went to the cafe in the arts barge last summer and to some kids events. It was *great*. We loved the old arts centre too and I worked their on a placement when I was 17. Would so love York to have this exciting centre. Something for locals rather than tourists. And the people running it are lovely. Art, music, poetry, food, bobbing on the ouse. Just sounds perfect to me…

  2. YorkStories

    Sounds perfect to me too!

    Last summer’s events sound good – sorry I missed them, and recommend the video on the Arts Barge pages (on the link included above) to anyone else who missed them.

    I also have happy memories of the Arts Centre, some great gigs there :)

  3. I attended a couple of last year’s events, I took my daughter too and we both loved it. I even got my parents down there most days for coffee and cake.

    It is a brilliant idea and, as earlier posts have stated, the organisers are lovely as were the patrons. I will most definitely be a frequent visitor when it is up and running.

    I have vague memories of the old Arts Center, of spending a day there making puppets when in primary school, it encouraged my creative passions and I know the Arts Barge will do the same for so many youngsters. I can’t wait to get my daughter’s school/class involved.

  4. YorkStories

    Good to see that the £5,000 target has been reached! Though of course support is still needed, and welcome.

    As the update on says: “what the past 55 days has demonstrated is the weight of community support behind this project even in a major recession.”

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