A selection of successful projects on which to base our research... more will be added as we discover them.
- Pavilion Arts Centre, Buxton
- The Square Chapel, Halifax
- Hampstead Town Hall
- The Station, Richmond
- The Brewery, Kendal
- Royal Pump Rooms, Harrogate
- Ashover Parish Hall
- The Whitworth Centre, Darley Dale
- St. Paul's Old Ford, Bow
- Pocklington Arts Centre
- Valentines Mansion, Redbridge
- Salisbury Arts Centre
- Manningham Mills Community Centre, Bradford
- The Royal Pump Rooms, Royal Leamington Spa
The Concert Hall, (now known as the Octagon), was opened in 1875. The Entertainment Stage, soon to be known as the Pavilion Theatre and later as the Hippodrome (cinema), the Playhouse (from 1935) and the Paxton Suite (from 1979) was added in 1889. In 1927, the Buxton Corporation acquired the buildings, gardens and pleasure grounds and the council have managed the site ever since. The Octagon is the main exhibition venue and offers a year-round programme of fairs and events, specialising in everything from antiques, toys and books to art, gardens, vintage cars and regional produce. The run-down Paxton Suite is being transformed with funding from High Peak Borough Council and the Buxton Opera House into a refurbished arts and events venue for Buxton. The venue will house a Children’s Theatre (linked with the Opera House); the Buxton Summer Festival and Fringe Programme; a part time lecture hall for the University of Derby; small scale business conferences; community uses and community hires.
The only remaining square church in Britain, Square Chapel was built in 1772. It was allowed to fall into a sad state of disrepair. The building, at various times home to Sunday Schools, scout groups, football teams and its own orchestra, was threatened with demolition. In 1988, the Square Chapel Trust was formed to save the building and breathe new life into it. The Trust has been remarkably successful and the Square Chapel is now a thriving arts centre including an attractive bar. The chapel hosts a families and children’s’ theatre and comedy and community events; lectures; music; and workshops.
Hampstead Town Hall was built in 1878 with money raised by the people of Hampstead and for more than a century it was the focus of thriving civic and community activity in Hampstead, with concerts, meetings and exhibitions.
After several attempts to dispose of it over the years, in 1994 Camden finally declared the Hall "surplus to requirements" and closed it, causing local outrage.
The community organised a battle to save the building and now the Interchange Trust uses the building to host a variety of events.
Richmond station was opened in 1846. Passenger services ceased in 1968. In 2003, after a chequered history, the building was taken over by the newly formed Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust, with the aim of restoring it to its future splendour and making it once again a focal point of the local community. The Station now boasts two cinema screens, a cafe-restaurant, art gallery, heritage centre and six artisan food-makers on the premises. There are rooms and spaces for seminars, meetings and exhibits. AV and wi-fi are included, and there's great on-site catering.
The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal is housed in a 150 year old Grade II listed former brewery, set within a landscaped garden. First developed as an Arts Centre in 1972, The Brewery has, with funding from a wide range of investors, including the Arts Council, developed over 36 years from a small theatre and community arts centre to a building which now encompasses two main performance venues, a studio space, galleries, art rooms, playgroup and meeting rooms and two cinema screens as well as bars and restaurants. This multi-purpose arts complex offers a programme of theatre, dance, comedy, music, films, lectures and exhibitions, as well as a range of participatory activities and community facilities.
Harrogate’s most celebrated mineral spring, a sulphur-well known originally as 'The Stinking Spaw', was discovered near the town centre and, as an attraction in its own right, the Royal Pump Room was erected over the spring in 1804. Now restored as a museum, two of the original wells can still be seen and the water can be tasted at the Museum sales counter. The museum has exhibitions which illustrate the history of Harrogate as a spa, together with bicycles, costume, toys, ceramics and household items. There is also a changing programme of temporary exhibitions.
Ashover Parish Hall Events Centre is at the heart of the village and has been providing events services since it was rebuilt in the 1980's. Set in the beautiful village of Ashover and surrounded by some of Derbyshire’s best scenery, the recently extended and refurbished hall is ideal for events such as: corporate events, parties, wedding receptions, concerts, theatrical performances, seminars and educational classes.
The Whitworth Centre was bequeathed in trust for the people of Darley Dale in 1890 by the noted industrialist and inventor Sir Joseph Whitworth. Refurbished with an award from the Heritage Lottery Fund, it now offers a unique venue for Meetings and Conferences, Training and Away Days, Social Occasions, and Special Events. There are many regular events that take advantage of the excellent facilities at The Whitworth Centre including antiques fairs, film screenings, dances as well as evening lectures on a wide range of topics and the Sports Hall offers equipment for badminton and other sporting activities.
Built in 1878 in the heart of the local community, the building was closed in 1991 due to maintenance and safety concerns, with local people fearing it would share the fate of many churches in the East End and be demolished or turned into luxury flats. The local community was determined to see it up and running again and after raising £3.3million it was fully refurbished with works commencing in 2003 and being completed in 2004. It now serves as a multi use community centre housing four floors, with a small place for worship. The ground floor is available for hire with a capacity of 120. A community hall is used for sports and recreation, keep fit classes, meetings and adult education classes. There is also a café.
Set up in February 2000 after purchasing and refurbishing the former Ritz cinema. The local community is heavily involved in the management and operation of the venue, and the aim the Centre is to offer a broad-based programme of visual and performing arts to the rural area. One of the main themes is "accessible arts". Live-events programmes are developed three times per annum and film programmes are put together on a six weekly basis. In both cases an attempt is made to balance popular arts with more culturally diverse events. Live-events consist of a mixture of drama, music, poetry, comedy, dance and children's theatre. There are also exhibitions, workshops, lectures, conference facilities, and room hire for businesses, charities and community groups.
Valentines Mansion was built as a private house and is over 300 years old. It was acquired by the council in 1912 and fulfilled various uses before standing empty for 15 years. After community campaigning and the forming of the charity ‘Friends of Valentines Mansion’, it gained a Heritage lottery grant and has now been restored to create a contemporary community venue. Its current uses include Exhibitions, installations, arts workshops & private viewings, school holiday activities, farmers markets, adult education classes, a Café, Artists' studios, hire for weddings, business & seminar meeting rooms, room hire for community groups, and playgroup facilities.
Created following community action when the church was deemed surplus to requirements the arts centre originally opened in 1975 after modest alterations were made to make it suitable as a community arts venue, but the local council withdrew its funds in 1990. The then volunteers ran a huge and successful campaign to re-open the centre and get funding reinstated, with an invigorated operation launching in 1994. Funding was obtained from the arts council and the heritage lottery fund, a historic buildings grant, and private sector funding. The centre currently lets spaces to arts and community organisations (Sarum Orchestra, Hoodwink Theatre Company, both of which have brought their own audiences to the centre) and has a proposed Media Workshop programme. There is an Art Studio, Rehearsal room, Studio performance space (capacity 60), a Pottery, and a Café and bar.
A Grade 2 listed heritage building built in 1871 which closed in the late 20th century. The building rapidly fell into decay, and a group of residents formed the Manningham Mills Community Association (MMCA), determined to fight to save the Mill from dereliction and provide a community centre in the building. Property developers Urban Splash bought the Mill in 2001 and started converting the Silk Mill into apartments but MMCA negotiated a lease with them and with Bradford Council, for space on the ground floor to create a community centre. After a twelve year campaign, MMCA opened the community centre in July 2007 and started providing services to the people who live and work in the area. With funding from the European Regional Development Fund, the centre is currently used for IT training, Over 50’s sessions, youth work, conferences and events, complementary therapies, exhibitions for local artists, keep fit, dance & exercise classes, entertainment & parties, and houses a Café.
From its opening in 1814 the Assembly Rooms and Baths in the Royal Pump Rooms had been used to provide health treatments, social activities and recreational services for local residents and visitors. By the late 1980s it was clear that the building required major redevelopment if it was to maintain its position as a key public facility into the 21st century. The award winning redevelopment of the Royal Pump Rooms is the result of a project carried out 1997 - 99 by the building's owners, Warwick District Council. The building is now a home for Leamington’s principal cultural attractions. The town's Art Gallery & Museum, Library and Tourist Information Centre were moved to the restored building, which they share with the refurbished Assembly Rooms and new Tea Rooms.