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Photoessay: Coexist’s last 48 hours at Hamilton House

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PHOTOGRAPHY: gentrification, hamilton house, stokes croft

We documented Coexist’s last 48 hours at Hamilton House. The social enterprise is leaving after 10 years at the Stokes Croft cultural hub.

On Wednesday, Coexist finally handed the keys over to owners of Hamilton House Connolly and Callaghan (C&C). With plans still ongoing to redevelop part of the building into flats, new managers Forward Space will be taking over. Lots of tenants said they would leave with Coexist, because they refuse to stay under the new management.

This end of an era at Hamilton House coincides with Westmoreland House being demolished, and nightclubs Blue Mountain and Lakota announcing they’re closing down. The pace of change in Stokes Croft seems to have gone into a new gear.

The saga continues, however. A petition signed by nearly 5,000 people calling for Bristol City Council to purchase Hamilton House and then allow the community to buy shares will be debated in January.

After a decade in the building, Coexist were handed their notice in November, but they decided to hold out. These photos document their last two days in the building.

Where the community kitchen once stood.

The future of these spaces remains uncertain

Memories from 10 years in the building

Gem Burgoyne, who lost her studio space in March

Claire Holmes of Coexist, with time running out

Bex Baxter from Coexist trying to get in the festive spirit

Artist and poet David Johnson in his studio

Arist and theatre maker Katie Storer helping pull up the floor in the events space

The space that hosted the community kitchen for years

The changing face of Stokes Croft as just down the road Westmoreland House is demolished

Another empty studio. Will any artists stay under new managers of the building, Forward Space?

Coexist have been running community activities in Stokes Croft since 2008

The entrance hall plastered with the orange of the Save Hamilton House campaign

Photographer Sarah ‘Scruff’ McFarlane remaining defiant

A message of thanks looming over Stokes Croft

The sun sets on Coexist’s Hamilton House adventure

Lights out

All gone. What next for Hamilton House?

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