Ruskin to build new art school

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The Ruskin School of Art has received permission for a new building in East Oxford.

The school is currently split between its main site on the High Street and an existing building on the site it plans to redevelop, just off Cowley Road.

This centre, which contains digital and printmaking facilities, will be rebuilt to almost twice its current size.

According to planning officer Fiona Bartholomew, the new site will “represent a significant upgrading of the site’s educational and associated facilities, the structural quality of the buildings on the site, and the external appearance of the site.”

“The integration of the scheme with the street scene will contribute positively to making this a better, more inclusive place for students and the local community.”

A planning committee of the City Council unanimously agreed to the plans at a meeting on Wednesday. Bartholomew dismissed suggestions that the development would harm the area.

“The proposals will not result in unacceptable harm to the amenities of adjacent and nearby residential and commercial properties,” she said in a report to the committee.

“The loss of the ancillary flat is justified by the benefits to the local community of the consolidation and continued presence of the School at this location and the cultural opportunities it offers to the local community.”

Angeli Bhose, a first-year Fine Art student at Queen’s, said she was “really looking forward” to the new development.

“The current building is a such a great space and we love working in it, but it is falling apart a bit. It seems like the new development has been designed to still be a proper big, communal studio space which can be worked into and won’t feel too new and untouchable,” she said.

“I’m really looking forward to the extra space and seeing the potential for showing and making work in all the new facilities.”