Who are we and what is our project aim?
Artivarious is a group of artists and crafts people who have been looking for a space in which to work. The group intends to run an Arts and Crafts Community Centre to provide facilities for art expression either as a pop-in facility or for day/s project work. Individuals can work alone; be led; or part of self-help group projects and workshops. A place of learning as well as providing a boutique venue for recitals and music examinations. A venue where work can be displayed and available for sale.
We are very aware that in our area of outstanding natural beauty, there is an underlying problem of rural and social isolation. This has been recognised in Herefordshire who have raised the profile of social prescribing, for the health and wellbeing of our community.
Ewyas Harold is the largest conurbation in South Herefordshire and reaches out its services to the outlying hamlets and villages in the area.
Our efforts are now focused on a small redundant building in the centre of the village with associated ground which can be developed to fulfil the requirements of Artivarious, which is a place to work and develop our ideas accessed through the open door of the existing building where there will be an exhibition space, items for sale a cafe; and provide space to support a voluntary group who has formed to assist the surgery with social prescribing, for health and wellbeing.
The doctor's surgery is very keen to get a volunteer group in place for assisting with social prescribing but does not have the time or funding to initiate the project. The arts centre project sees this as a natural partnership and the response from the surgery has been positive.
The villagers do not like having a redundant building, which has been closed for around 6 years, in the heart of the village when there is a need for an informal gathering place with a dedicated arts and crafts focus at the heart of it to enable socialising, creativity and encompassing activities in art, music and drama.
Impact of our project on the community
The area we would be impacting upon is the village, including a vibrant primary school, and a minimum of a 7 mile radius of outlying villages and farms; around 1500 people as a conservative estimate.
Artivarious the co-operative and the project.
The steering group for the project Artivarious have been working with the Parish Council to obtain a lease and a continued relationship into the future. The structure of Artivarious is based on a well-tested business model of a co-operative with a constitution which is to be submitted to the Charities commission.
Membership of the co-operative will be on an annual subscription basis with non- members paying a sustainable attendance fee. Our project aim for 2020/2021 is to get the building fit for occupation and open for use. Currently we are working to get grant funding for most of the capital expenditure with reliance upon our keen community who will give of their professional expertise as well as time to realise the project. As activity is seen around the building and the grounds the general community will become more engaged and will increase the support and use of the centre.
Kick Starting the project
To Kick Start the building project to create an Arts Centre in South Herefordshire by regenerating a redundant building we require funding, initially, for supplying basic services, water, drainage, pad foundations for the new building and commencing our way forward to the redevelopment of the space.
Steps we have achieved whilst working towards funding.
In conjunction with applying for funding from Calor to carry out our initial kick start work, we have been in discussion with a local distributor of refurbished module buildings to provide the new working space. Additionally Artivarious has feedback from the Local Authority regarding a planning application.
The Vision for regenerating the centre of our village in conjunction with using an existing building.