The idea of reusing historic buildings is now so ingrained in our culture that it is hard to imagine that only a few decades ago it was a radical concept. Now we see old structures as heritage, as potential money-spinners, as ciphers for authenticity. The British countryside is littered with arts centres in old mills and factories, and contemporary art has replaced machinery in the heartlands of the industrial revolution, from Saltaire in West Yorkshire and the Balticon Tyneside, to Tates Liverpool and Modern.”

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