SIX months after a major refurbishment programme to provide office and studio space for creative and business activities in Ilkley, the town's Manor House Trust has announced that almost all the units in its cottages are now let.

The three cottages were part of the package of assets transferred to the Ilkley Manor House Trust by Bradford Council earlier this year.

They were intended to provide revenue to support an ambitious plan to turn the main medieval Manor House building and courtyard into a thriving heritage and arts centre for the town.

"The Trust has come a long way in our first six months and the creation of this creative hub of businesses is part of the longer term plan to make the Manor House and surroundings a thriving space for heritage, culture, arts and learning," said Sir Rodney Brooke, president of the Manor House Trust.

The tenants include a jeweller, artists working with the Ilkley Arts group, a filmmaker, a wellness practitioner, a photographer and the Ilkley office for the local MP John Grogan.

Laura Mate, an accomplished photographer, stylist and art director, has returned to her Yorkshire roots after spending ten years working in Paris, promoting brands such as Givenchy and shooting editorial images for lifestyle magazines. She says she relishes the challenge of working with smaller independent companies and start-ups and helping them find their identity.

"I love the eclectic mix my job offers and always feel so fortunate to work with such a variety of people and projects," said Laura.

Jeweller Libby Jubb works with silver and has made the lower ground floor of one of the cottages her new studio workshop. She says she's relishing having a place of her own to work in and somewhere to welcome others who are keen to learn jewellery-making skills. "It’s a great space, where I can run workshops and show customers how to make something they will cherish," she said.

On the first floor, award-winning filmmaker and writer Charlie Swinbourne is working on scripts for new projects. Charlie specialises in films for the deaf community and is rapidly making a name for himself.

"I’m really excited about becoming part of the creative community at the Manor House and I’m hoping it will lead to more collaborations and new work," he said.

Ilkley Arts have their new studio space in Cottage No 4 with a key partner, Art School Ilkley run by Sarah and John Gamble. Sarah is a secondary art teacher and a practising textile printmaker. John is a practicing artist who gained an MA in Creative Practice from Leeds Arts University.

Both Sarah and John have experience in working with students of all ages and of differing educational needs and backgrounds. "I’m really excited to be running our Art School classes in such a beautiful inspiring place, surrounded by a group of supportive and creative tenants," said John . "Our clients have responded very positively to the new studio, exciting times ahead!"

Cottage 2 is the home of the Wellness Mission that has been created by Michelle Thersby as a social enterprise wellbeing centre that aims to improve the physical and mental health of the wider community.

Ilkley's MP John Grogan is equally enthusiastic about his new office in the Manor House cottages.

"I could not think of a better place to have a Parliamentary office in Ilkley than adjacent to the Manor House. We should be open in the next few weeks, joining quite an eclectic mix of tenants on the site," he said. Ellie Robertson, diary secretary to Mr Grogan, will be based in the office too.