Skills for life

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


City Arts' vision is to bring together the Newbury community through visual arts.

It aims to increase the accessibility of and encourage participation in the visual arts locally, by converting the former Wesleyan chapel in the Old City of Newbury into a Visual Arts hub, where it will offer studio, gallery and workshop space, meeting space for use and enjoyment by artists, non-artists, elderly, young, fortunate or disadvantaged, individuals or groups to meet, learn, collaborate, educate and volunteer.

The happy blend of community spirit and artistic expression will generate a thriving hub of opportunity for all sectors of the community to engage through the visual arts. City Arts already has strong backing, engagement and commitment from local artists (running workshops)and the public (attending the workshops, events and volunteering) and the provision of a refurbished, fit for purpose facility will serve to enhance and widen this engagement .

At present the building is a shell which need to be completely refurbished. This has not however prevented the running of successful workshops and events from the premises in a limited fashion. Lack of heating has meant workshops can only be run during the warmer summer months. The events and workshops are already gaining a reputation for quality instruction, originality and accessibility, at prices that encourage wide engagement - despite currently being run from the freezing empty shell of a building.

Converting this building into a Community Art hub will be effective because:
(I) there is currently nowhere in the town-centre where the public can regularly participate in and receive instruction in the visual arts. A previously existing now closed amenity, the Northbrook Lane Art facility, has never been truly replaced and there remains an unmet public need for the provision of affordable, accessible art instruction.
(II)The refurbished facility will be within 10min walking distance of in the region of 5-10,000 local residents and within 30mins by car from an area bounded by Reading, Oxford, Swindon & Winchester, meaning it should have a catchment population well in excess of 150,000.

We wish to include a fit for purpose heating system which will allow use of the faculty thought the year and help us to raise further funds for ongoing refurbishment. Cost of this is in the region of £20000.

City Arts Newbury

Moment of Pride

City Arts Newbury is run by a highly motivated group of volunteers There is a genuine desire to engage the community and to reach the disadvantaged. Their achievement to date has been remarkable considering the limitations of the current facilities.

Location: Berkshire, Newbury, UK