Partners involved in: Câmara Municipal de Santo Tirso

The atmosphere that is felt in the Santo Thyrso Factory is increasingly focused on Fashion and Creative Industries, with a prominent role in the empowerment of Young Entrepreneurship.

Associated with an important textile legacy, dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries, this space is today, a mandatory stop for young people from the most diverse areas of activity. The factory’s regeneration process has been taking place since the early 1990s when it was acquired by the Municipality of Santo Tirso. Preserving the textile heritage of Vale do Ave, the factory has, over time, increased values that have proved to be important for the AYCH project.

The regeneration included not only the rehabilitation of buildings, which continues to be carried out, but also their adaptation to current needs and potential opportunities, developing multifaceted spaces with purposes ranging from hosting exhibitions and cultural initiatives to incorporating the Companies and Innovation Centre, a business reception space focused on technology, also the Fashion and Design Incubator (IMOD), the incubation spaces for creative and co-working projects and the Vale do Ave Textile Industry Interpretative Center.

The Santo Thyrso Factory is today, a place open to the community and whose growth is based on values of great importance for the AYCH project. IMOD has a Fashion & Design Fab Lab, highly innovative, consisting of a Confection Laboratory, a Design and

CAD-CAM modeling Laboratory, and a Conventional Stamping Lab, which is available to young people, not only from Santo Tirso and the surrounding areas, but from the entire Atlantic area.

Result of a process of urban regeneration, the Santo Thyrso Factory asserts itself as a “Platform” to support the fashion, design, and creativity industries with validations in terms of incubation, training, promotion, and cultural dissemination.

The truth is that the work of regenerating this space is not watertight and continues to be done over the years. Within the scope of this strategy, the creation of the Alberto Carneiro Arts Center (CAAC), whose works are still in progress, is underway with the opening to the public scheduled for September this year.

Aimed at safeguarding, preserving, investigating and disseminating contemporary art, the Alberto Carneiro Arts Center is named after an important sculptor who was originally part of the creation of the International Museum of Contemporary Sculpture (MIEC). Sustainable development, creativity and knowledge production are some of the pillars of the space, whose mission is to raise public awareness to artistic expression.

The management of the collection of sculptor Alberto Carneiro is, on the other hand, one of the fundamental points of this future Arts Center, which will nevertheless have a broad record. The program will include a permanent exhibition, as well as temporary exhibitions dedicated to contemporary art, but the objective is to make this new feature of the Fábrica de Santo Thyrso a space for dialogue and confrontation of various artistic currents. The inclusive factor stands out as a form of affirmation, a point of reference in promoting innovative projects in the field of visual arts and cultural development in the region.

With this new focus on creativity and culture, the organizational and functional structure of the Santo Thyrso Factory continues to assert itself as decisive in the formatting, launching, and dissemination of new ideas and projects within the scope of the creative sector. The continuity of the AYCH project is thus enhanced and continues the experiencing and international networking already created, stimulating the development of young people’s creativity.

The current social dynamics and new ways of living require a greater capacity for innovation, adaptation to the latest forms of work resulting from the COVID 19 pandemic changes. The degree of demand is increased for the younger strata. In this sense, the Santo Thyrso Fatory represents an important support structure so that they can acquire tools that guarantee them success in competitive work environments, allowing them to face increasingly unpredictable challenges and making it possible to meet their professional achievements.

Founded in 1989, the Fábrica de Santo Thyrso came to employ more than a thousand people. Currently, more than 30 years after its closure, it remains to be a space for development and creativity. Regeneration continues to be carried out by the Municipality, with its focus on the future and the certainty that all its values and services are an asset for entrepreneurial projects and for the development of the region.

Written by Câmara Municipal de Santo Tirso