Community support

Funding level: Up to £1,000


We are a charitable Community Benefit Society formed in 2013 in the market town of Wellington, Shropshire and our entry is to cover professional fees on a property acquisition. An energetic group of volunteers have worked tirelessly raising funds to acquire the site of the old Clifton cinema and an adjoining building, to restoring them or other premises in the town into a vibrant and diverse art, cultural and training facility for the community of Wellington and its environs.
‘The Clifton’ would be accessible to the whole community regardless of age, race, belief, orientation or social standing; the Centre would enrich the lives of the local population offering entertainment – cinema, theatre and classes/activities of all kinds. The fully-flexible theatre space would present experimental theatre both professional and amateur, anything from local musicians to choral concerts, ballroom dancing, small scale sports events or even a wedding breakfast. There would be space for new creative enterprises e.g. multi -media workshops and photographic labs. We will have exhibition space for local artists, space for ‘pop-up shops’, and an area where you can see crafts-people working.
Why does our community need this? Because there is no open-access building in the Borough where people with interests in music, the arts, culture, performance and arts education can gather, focus, interact and use to both inform and entertain. We will support young people with aspirations and talent and encourage people of all ages to contribute to their community; supporting them to develop skills and to obtain employment.
The arts provide a focus through which people can interact by observing, participating, commenting or creating. They transcend all barriers and are a fundamental catalyst for social integration.
Currently we have over 600 shareholders and 200 volunteers.
Telford lacks opportunities for creativity in its widest sense. It is especially notable that Wellington centre after 5.00p.m. is not considered ‘welcoming’ by many strands of the demographic – both young and old. By providing a safe, open access facility, we hope to improve significantly the scope and quality of the evening economy in the town.
We are working with ‘Team Wellington’, a group of local people, to develop business and employment opportunities and the establishment of an arts and cultural facility will be one piece in the jigsaw of regeneration of our town centre.
Recently a Clifton volunteer liaised with a local secondary school. An English project on regeneration of community buildings produced the following quotes from pupils; The new Clifton will bring more activities and build a better place for a stronger community’, ‘Why not help the Clifton reopen and keep the heart of Wellington beating? Pupils are currently producing posters for the town and a film on the ‘vision of the Clifton’.
The acquisition of the premises is ongoing and has attracted support from all areas of the community. Our regular film festivals frequently attract a full house. Recently we secured funding to screen foreign language films attracting members from ethnic communities.
Funds have also been raised through our community share offer, grants, donations and live events.
Whist ultimately we aim to acquire the Clifton buildings our current funds allow us to secure a lease on an alternative location within the town meaning the project can be up and running within 12 months. We have identified such a property and are currently in correspondence to enter into a lease agreement.
A £1,000 grant from Aviva will cover surveyor and architect fees in customising the building for our intended use.

Project Video

the clifton community arts centre ltd

Moment of Pride

‘Belief in the future’. The recognition that creativity and our unique cultural experiences can bind us to build a better community. Knowing that our efforts to establish the facilities and provide more activities to inform and inspire all generations would keep the heart of Wellington beating.

Location: Wellington