Inside Northlight: Community Arts by ZK
Community Arts by ZK uses art projects to overcome societal issues, like loneliness and social anxiety. The organisation uses art workshops as a tool to bring people together and as a form of therapy.
"Being a creative business, Northlight really suited us. It’s a beautiful building in a great location." - CEO Zaneb Khatu
Company CEO Zaneb Khatun plans to use the facilities at Northlight as a central base for the business and also as a location to run workshops. They have an artist in residence teaching textile techniques, and they run family projects during half term.
How has covid affected your business?
Covid has meant we can’t have big groups together, but we’re still finding ways to do business. Before the health crisis we used to go into care homes and get the residents to do art, now they do it digitally. Residents make the art and we share it online.
Our business has been important during lockdown because we keep people connected. We’re trying to do something positive and it’s been a ray of light for many people.
How did you hear about Northlight?
I heard about it from a friend who told us that the old Smith and Nephew Mill was turning into a business centre and as a young entrepreneur that’s where I wanted to base my business. I decided to arrange a visit and went to have a look around.
At the time it was a building site, but I knew it was the perfect location for Community Arts by ZK. It’s right at the heart of an industrial town with so much history and character.
Why did you choose Northlight?
I’ve got a textiles background, so I felt an affinity with the building. Northlight used to be a textile mill and there’s a real sense of that when you arrive. I needed a good location to formalise the business, when you operate from somewhere like this it gives the right impression.
“One of the best things is that we’re allowed to totally customise our space. At Northlight you can make the space your own”
We asked a local Amazing Accrington company Bevlan Office Interiors to redesign the space. We’re allowed to completely redesign our office space so we put our stamp on it.
For a creative company like ours, with resident artists, it’s so important to be in an attractive building. Here we’ve got views of the canal on one side and the hills on the other, blended with a historically and culturally important landscape. It’s perfect.