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What would you do with time, materials and a large studio?

Yorkshire Artspace has partnered with Working Class Creatives Database to provide a special edition of our Testing Ground residency, exclusively for artists in the Sheffield City Region who identify as working class.

Testing Ground is a new residency programme at Exchange Place Studios, intended to provide an intensive period of creative experimentation for an artist based in Sheffield. It aims to provide ideal conditions for making, including studio space and a materials budget. Studio open days and a pop-up exhibition provide opportunities for you to share your works-in-progress, while 121s and group crits will provide more focussed feedback.

The successful applicant will be in residence for the month of April 2024.

The residency provides:

  • 24/7 access to a 70m2 public-facing studio space (April 2024)

  • £1,000 artist fee

  • £500 materials grant

  • An opportunity to show your work in our monthly crit group

  • 121s and studio visits from our staff and partners

  • Closing event (Friday 26 April)

In order to get the most out of the experience, the artist-in-residence is expected to use the space at least 3 days per week for the duration of their residency. Please be aware we cannot cover travel expenses.

As artist-in-residence, you will host weekly open days on which members of the public can visit to see you at work and ask questions. There will also be an opportunity to be involved in a talk & networking event, led by WCCD founders Seren Metcalfe and Chanelle Windas. At the end of the residency, you will continue to be invited to crits, talks and previews at Yorkshire Artspace and will receive news and opportunities via WCCD.

"Testing Ground absolutely centers the needs of artists. Working alongside such a supportive team at Yorkshire Artspace, who took the time to really consider my practice and the support that they could offer, was a huge confidence boost. It helped me access the kind of support that artists need but perhaps don’t know how to get / ask for.
It was brilliantly and generously put together, with regular points of interaction helping to create a pace. From the second I had my induction in the space I was made to feel welcome, encouraged and part of the Yorkshire Artspace family."

- Bethan Maddocks, Testing Ground resident September 2023


Exchange Place is home to over 80 artists and makers who use the building regularly. The ground floor gallery is a large open-plan space measuring 70m2. It has high ceilings and large windows overlooking the street outside. Partitions are available to break up the space, for example to create a more private desk area. Exchange Place is wheelchair accessible from the street level during office hours (Tue-Thu, 10-5) and accessible via steps 24/7. It has a storage cupboard that can be used by the artist. There is a communal kitchen and accessible toilet on the ground floor. You can find out more about Exchange Place here.


To apply for this edition of Testing Ground, please complete our short application form by 9am on Monday 12 February.

Please note that you must be based in Sheffield City Region and be a member of WCCD to apply. If you are not a member of WCCD but identify as a working class creative, click here to become a member before applying. We expect to have made a decision and shared the outcome with applicants by Friday 23 February.

In addition to this application, we request that you complete an anonymous Equal Opportunities Monitoring form so we can gather data about the reach of this application process.

We accept video applications if they address the same questions as they appear on the form. Please upload video applications to a Google Drive, YouTube or Vimeo so that they are playable in-browser without being downloaded, and email the link to


YAS and WCCD are hosting an online Q&A on Wednesday 24 January, 6-7pm, to answer any questions you might have; please email to RSVP and request a Zoom link. You are also welcome to get in touch by email to discuss any additional queries or access needs and we will be glad to assist. We look forward to receiving your application!



Established in 1977 by artists, Yorkshire Artspace has grown to become one of the largest and most established studio providers in the UK. We support artists by providing affordable city-centre studio space and creating opportunities for artistic development including exhibitions, crits, talks, workshops and more.

You can find out more about Yorkshire Artspace here.


The Working-Class Creatives Database CIC is a volunteer-led platform that highlights the work of working-class creatives in the UK. It was founded in 2020 to provide a platform for working-class creatives, to establish a strong community between working-class artists around the region, and to tackle classism within the arts by improving accessibility, engagement and opportunities.

You can find out more about WCCD here.

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