Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

‘The secret garden’: Artists, bohemia and gentrification in the Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Whiting, James; Hannam, Kevin


James Whiting

Kevin Hannam


Research has pointed to the importance of artists in the early stages of gentrification; however, few studies have examined specifically the meaning of gentrification and place-change from the perspective of artists themselves, and few studies have investigated the role of ‘creative city’ policies as unintended drivers of gentrification processes. This study generates insights into artists’ own views of gentrification processes within the gentrifying bohemia of the Ouseburn Valley in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England. We stress that gentrification in this area cannot solely be understood as a process of displacement, but is also clearly linked to the growth of modes of regulation and commercialisation within social space. Increasing regulation, brought about by greater local state focus on ‘creative districts’, has impacted the Valley. Alongside this, projects of property development as well as a general growth in the popularity of the Valley as a nightlife consumption district and area of production for commercially-orientated creative class workers have challenged artists’ values of the area as a ‘secret garden’ where romantically inflected values of self-expression, autonomy, spontaneity and non-instrumental artist cooperation can be found.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date May 22, 2016
Publication Date Jul 1, 2016
Deposit Date Jun 28, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jun 28, 2016
Print ISSN 0969-7764
Electronic ISSN 1461-7145
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 3
Pages 318-334
Keywords Gentrification; artists; regulation; commercialisation; Newcastle upon Tyne
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Jun 28, 2016


Downloadable Citations