Work has begun on creating The Art House at a church in Sheffield city centre.
Part of St Matthews in Carver Street is being redeveloped at a cost of over £1.5m to create a community pottery, workshops, café and managed workspace.
Pottery classes and studio time for projects, with a tutor on hand, will be offered.
A spokesperson said: “The Art House won’t be just for those who are already great at art. Our vision is to create artists, to find hidden artists, to enable people from all backgrounds to develop their ability and enjoyment, perhaps for the first time.
“We want people to connect through art and to discover their common ground, to have a doctor working next to an asylum seeker.”
A range of arts will also be available, along with managed workspace and advice for people wanting to set up their own creative enterprises and, “at the core”, a café.
The project is a partnership with St Mary’s Community Centre in Bramall Lane. Some £800,000 has come from the European Regional Development Fund and St Matthew’s Church contributed £100,000 to a fundraising campaign. The Art House is due to open in May or June next year.
Built nearly 160 years ago, it initially provided social services for city centre slum dwellers. It continued to accommodate charities.