Peter Rumsey is the founder of Great Cornard based Gallery and Arts Centre, Mill Tye Gallery. Here, Peter breaks down what his inspiration and motivation was for having a gallery in Great Cornard, Sudbury, and the importance of supporting local businesses and creative talent.
What was your motivation for starting up Mill Tye Gallery and Arts Centre?
We had always thought about setting up a Print-works Gallery, so it was a great opportunity. Mill Tye in Great Cornard is such a lovely area, the old mill is steeped in history and in a great location opposite the Mill Pond on the River Stour. It is an oasis between the railway line and the river.
What is the best thing about it?
Seeing artists work and meeting people who share our passion. We go out and visit all of our artist’s studios, so we can properly promote them. This is especially important for talented young artists and printmakers like Hannah Farthing, Kieran Page, Hannah Forward, who need galleries to help promote them and their work. Lots of items are exclusive to the gallery, so we find that once people have bought something from us they get a lot from it; it brightens up their lives. It’s also very rewarding to let artists know we have sold their work.
What is the biggest challenge?
Mill Tye is a little of the beaten track. Customers sometimes struggle to find the Gallery and our car park. Publicising the gallery can be a challenge, also.
Any advice for those looking to do the same?
Starting a business of any size should not be taken on lightly. It is a lot of hard work with a lot of investment needed. So take your time, think realistically and ensure you are passionate about what it is you want to achieve.
What attracted you to having your business located in Sudbury?
Sudbury and the surrounding area has been portrayed by artists like Constable and Gainsborough, and so the area is renowned as a hub for talented creatives.
The big attraction was that even as Sudbury grows, it still retains its community spirit. We need to sustain all the things that make it a good place to live. For example, the market, the link to London, and the family-run businesses.
What are the benefits of being a member of the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce?
Networking is always positive for businesses; its important in helping your business grow. Contacts, advice and support are key, and there is a great network around Sudbury through the Sudbury Chamber.
Mill Tye Gallery and Arts Centre:
Address: 3 Cornard Mills, Mill Tye, Great Cornard, Sudbury CO10 0GW
Opening: Friday: 2:30pm to 6pm // Saturday & Sunday: 11am to 4pm