Collingwood stands as one of the biggest examples of urban change in Melbourne. The once largely working-class suburb, filled with factories and warehouses, has been the site of many redevelopments as old spaces fell into disuse. Many buildings have been knocked down, which is why the creation of Collingwood Yards – the old Collingwood Technical School – feels like a breath of fresh air, championing both the suburb's past and present.
Collingwood Yards is an independent not-for-profit that uses the old rooms of the school as spaces for an eclectic mix of artists, performers and creative practitioners. There are 50 tenancies across the precinct, with 17 artist studios plus a performance space, radio station and public courtyard for all to enjoy. Rents are kept affordable too, to ensure the survival of the creative industries.
Notable tenants include Arts Project Australia (a social enterprise supporting artists with intellectual disabilities), Creatives of Colour (a shared space and online platform for creative people of colour), PBS106.7FM (a community radio station that has been broadcasting since 1979), This Mob (an arts collective providing space and projects for First Nations artists), Music Victoria (the peak state body for contemporary music) and the Social Studio (a social enterprise and fashion school teaching skills and providing employment to refugee and migrant communities).