Leeds Arts University and Duke Studios are delighted to offer recent graduates the chance to start a new business, or transfer a growing business for six months in a multidisciplinary, creative space at Duke Studios. 

Duke Studios is a creative co-working studio space in the heart of the unofficial cultural quarter of Leeds. It’s primarily suited to ‘clean’ screen-based activities such as digital media and design. The space is available to a recent graduate for six months. With the space comes a package of up to eight hours’ business mentoring per month, provided by creative industry professionals. The mentoring will take place during normal working hours.

This is a great opportunity to integrate with the wider creative community in the city and to support graduates to develop their skills within a professional working environment.

This opportunity is open to Leeds Arts University alumni who have graduated in the last five years with an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. The space can accommodate up to three people and is open to all disciplines, although more suited to quiet, clean, screen-based work or making.

The residency invites applications twice a year. The deadline for this application is 27 November 2020. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed online on 10 December 2020.

Application form

For information about alternative studio space, please contact careers@leeds-art.ac.uk.

Mentoring and support

Up to eight hours per month of business mentoring and support will be available from creative industry experts to guide and advise you in all aspects of your business.


In return for the use of the space a £50 deposit is required per month, the £50 will roll over each month if attendance has been registered. If studio holders are not utilising the space on a regular basis as agreed the contract will be reviewed.

About Duke Studios

Duke Studios are based on co-working, a concept that provides freelancers and companies with an exciting alternative to the isolated humdrum of working from home or the inconvenience of travelling to out-of-town studios. Creatives can focus on doing what they do best: creating. What’s more, in a co-working environment, individuals are surrounded by a supportive network of innovative thinkers who provide each other with a constant stream of inspiration. The opportunity for networking is limitless. Co-workers will be able to gain work they never even knew existed, be that from passing work between each other within the studio or using their collective power to win contracts. Duke Studios will also act as an agency, actively seeking to find new business for the talent within its walls. By working at Duke Studios anyone can instantly expand their business with a whole array of new technology, meeting space and service areas which they may otherwise not be able to afford.

Duke Studio facilities:

  • Space 4.3m x 2.3m
  • 24 hour/7 day a week access
  • High Speed Broadband
  • Kitchen access and storage
  • Business and postal registration
  • Photography services
  • Laser cutting service
  • Vinyl cutting service
  • 3 Meeting rooms (one free to use)
  • Event Space and Yarden (external space)
  • On-site café and bar
  • Regular social events and meet-ups

Previous residents

Ellie Heywood is an artist & designer from North West England. Ellie specialises in calligraphy and painting, with a focus on abstract calligraphy. Her inspiration comes primarily from nature and space. Ellie graduated with a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design and won the Leeds Arts University Duke Studios graduate residency in 2020.

Martin O’Dea and Andy Foster set up their graphic design and illustration business, Hungry Sandwich Club, at Duke Studios. Here, they got information and mentoring about all sorts of issues from their website to financial and legal matters, competitors, customer relationships and pitching for business. Since graduating, Martin and Andy have won a D&AD Best in Show award. They’ve worked on designs for the Grand Depart of the Tour de France, the BBC; charities, bars, the Design Museum, and Leeds Print Festival.

Abbas Mushtaq, Sam Lane and Sebastian Needler met at Leeds Arts University whilst studying BA (Hons) Graphic Design. After graduating they co-founded branding agency Alphabet during their Duke Studio residency in 2016, and then relocated to Manchester in 2018. Their clients include JD Sports, CEV Volleyball, and global tech giants OnePlus.