The Royal Standard is an artist-led gallery and studio complex, situated within a semi-industrial collection of businesses just outside Liverpool’s city centre. Established in 2006 “…in response to the need for a new artist-led organisation that would operate somewhere in between the city’s grass-roots DIY initiatives and the more established arts institutions.” Working in a group of between 4 and 6, The Royal Standard’s directors today find themselves beginning their tenure of the project managing 29 studios with over 40 artists, a multi-purpose project space, and their larger main gallery space. In our conversation with current director Amy Jones, she describes the process of working “organically” as a group, with specific roles not being designated but rather shared amongst them.
As well as this The Royal Standard have very recently become a charity in order to maintain their Business Rates Relief (BRR), a move likely to become ever more common across the country - and in doing so The Royal Standard have appointed a board of trustees, who, as Amy says, “…will be able to outstay the directorship giving a consistency that we’ve not had before…” due to the ever-changing cycle of committee members. Amy spoke of the difficulty with the two-year directorship period model, that there is “…a period of catching up”, which every new member has to go through, the hope being that the appointed board of trustees, by being involved with the project for longer periods of time, will be able to help keep the project moving forward despite these peaks and troughs of acclimatisation. A cross-over of directors between years and groups has been a recent addition to the space’s working infrastructure, which will also help to alleviate such difficulties.