Located at IOU Creation Centre and the IOU Hebden Bridge Hostel, we collaborate with engineering and technology organisations and arts partners to support artists in delivering contemporary art productions.

Our Labs create a dynamic, sustainable ecosystem for artists to explore creative development in various environments. 

IOU Labs offers an open space for a diverse community of artists, makers, and students to delve into the exploration, development, testing, and iteration of new ideas. This strand includes our longstanding programme Space, Time, Tools, Advice (STTA), commissioning opportunities, and access to academic partnerships, for both short and long-term residencies. 

The Labs serve as the incubator where artists are supported to conceptualise and craft original productions, co-productions, and exhibitions. Artists enjoy the freedom to experiment without the constraints of public consumption expectations. Labs are flexible, adaptable, and artist-centric, providing access to resources, specialised expertise, extensive networks (including partner resources), and physical spaces designed to accommodate a spectrum of scales and embrace traditional and cutting-edge design and construction methodologies.

We prioritise innovation and curiosity, with multiple occupancies that encourage cross-disciplinary collaborations and the formation of peer support networks. We aim to host a vibrant community of artists concurrently engaged in individual projects, creating an environment where insights from one project or commission inform and enrich adjacent projects.

"Very atmospheric, sets the imagination and memories whirring."

Audience Member, Fulcrum

Cure was a remarkable achievement, holding a mirror up to our society’s dis-ease

Dorothy Prior, Total Theatre Magazine

"IOU's achievement in galvanising an intense, childlike response and reawakening our sense of wonder, is considerable"

The Independent

Artist Development Programme 2022

How to apply


Making It, Workshops run by local artists.

Get a taster of our previous workshops.