New RPS HQ - a personal story now can be told

01 January 2018

SIG: Contemporary

Now a secret can be told:

Out of the blue in July 2017 Brian received an email from a Rudi Thoemmes mentioning a building in the Paintworks complex in Bristol and linking it to the RPS search for a new HQ. Rudi is a lead organiser of the Bristol Photobook Festival weekends, which Brian attended in 2014 and 2015. This was at the time when the Society’s bid for new HQ premises in a former church in Bath was unsuccessful. Then in September 2017 Brian met photographer Simon Roberts, who mentioned if he knew the RPS were moving to Bristol.

Paintworks is a major new cultural centre for the creative industries in Bristol. Formerly the sprawling industrial site of a major paint factory, it has been redeveloped as a mixture of working locations, studios and 1-4 bed apartments. It has a vibrant young occupant profile, with many starting out on their professional careers. The Martin Parr Foundation opened there in October 2017. When Brian visited a few days after the official opening, Martin confirmed the new RPS HQ would be in the brand new building opposite the Foundation.

We hope the site will see a successful growth of the RPS for many years to come - attracting a wide range of interest and membership - and look forward to its opening later this year.


Side and front view RPS HQ, photos by Brian Steptoe, 25 Oct 17.