The company moved into their space on St Dunstan’s Street in Canterbury in July 2020. On Arch Day guests will get the first chance to see how they have transformed its 50-metre outdoor yard. Part of the building dates to the 15th Century and while the company’s team of web designers use the offices upstairs, owner Jack Dent has re-opened the shop “Platform” at ground level for local artists and makers to sell their work. On Arch Day the outside space will be transformed into a trade market for the artists and fashion designers they support to sell their wares to the public.
Jack said: “We like being able to tap into a larger promotional event and we’re delighted to have received some funding to put the event on. We saw the match-funding as an opportunity to do renovation work we had been planning for the yard. It’s allowed us to do something we were already thinking of doing but with a larger budget. It’s helped us to realise our ambitions. The money is going towards something that will make permanent changes, so it feeds into a longer-term plan.”
Jack moved from his hometown of Darlington to London when he was 18 and worked as a freelance graphic designer and director at a London design agency for over 15 years. When the company folded, he took over the digital side of the business, bringing some long-term clients with him. He set up at the Innovation Centre in Canterbury at first but was keen to move to premises located within the city centre. He said: “I tried to get this property five or six years ago when a previous tenant left. I walked past it daily and saw it was vacant. I don’t like standard offices and I thought the downstairs would be useful. It’s a really nice, versatile building with lots of quirks. I like its timber frames, small doorways, creaky floors, and strange little staircases. It’s a good talking point for customers and location-wise, its good.”
When they moved in, the team found that the vegetation in the back yard was six feet high and blocking the back door. They were offered a rent break by The Arch Company in return for clearing the space and are now using Arch Day 2021 as an opportunity to launch a new outdoor exhibition area. Jack said: “I had a fair idea of the amount of space there was. We started with secateurs cutting it back, then got a team in to help and we finally uncovered a space just over 45 metres long by over 5 metres wide, it seemed to go on forever. We’d like to create our own little wild space from what is currently a disused yard. We’re doing a fair bit of planting in tubs and containers.”
When they are not tackling the renovation of the yard, Bryter’s team of five offers technical innovation to solve problems their clients bring to them. Jack said: “We work closely with Hornby, the model company in Margate and we developed an exciting new product for them them - a controller for their model trains that uses our bluetooth app to control them remotely. We also run the website for the actor and comedian, Vic Reeves, who is a really good artist. With our link to the art and creative world, I decided to try to open a gallery downstairs with my partner who works using leather in jewellery and accessories. She is very active in the makers market so between us we know a lot of local crafts people. Platform gives local artists a platform to sell their wares.”’
With a makers market planned for their outdoor space on Arch Day, Jack and his team hope the event will prove to be a springboard for using the yard to offer more makers’ markets, fashion shows and weekly activities such as yoga, ceramics, life drawing and jewellery-making.
27 St. Dunstan’s Street, Canterbury CT2 8BT