Corsham-based arts charity The Pound Arts Trust Limited has been awarded funding from Arts Council England’s Small Capital Grants to support its renovation plans. Pound Arts is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation and also receives vital core funding from Wiltshire Council. With a grant of £353,946 the organisation plans to make repairs to the Grade II listed Victorian primary school it occupies in Corsham, and to improve core infrastructure including a new website and box office system.
Phil Gibby, Area Director, Arts Council England South West said:
“We’re delighted to have awarded £1.4 million to arts and culture organisations in the South West of England through our small-scale Capital programme. This funding will help to ensure our National Portfolio Organisations such as The Pound in Wiltshire have the right buildings and equipment to deliver their work and become more sustainable and innovative businesses allowing them to produce even more excellent work for the public.”
The Pound was officially opened by HRH in 2007. The centre is made up of two performance spaces, including a 100-seat auditorium, as well as an art gallery, café bar and social space, rehearsal rooms, and three studio spaces for artists-in-residence. Before a one million pound redevelopment project in 2005/2006, and upon officially opening in 2007, the building had previously been the site of Corsham County Primary School, which moved over the road to a new site in February 1994. Following a local campaign, the empty building was transformed into a thriving arts hub.
The Pound is much loved, and receives over 100,000 visitors each year from the local community and beyond. Pound Arts also organises two annual festivals, Blue Sky Festival in June and Magic and Mayhem Festival in November, and the Rural Arts Touring schemes for Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire. These strands of work will also benefit greatly from the upgraded systems at the arts centre.
Having been granted the Arts Council funding, Pound Arts now needs to find £86k in match funding, and has already made a strong start on this. The team are now looking for other ways to raise the remaining income. As well as applying to Trusts and seeking donations, they are asking supporters to vote for them in the Aviva Community Fund, to generate enough votes to reach the judging stage.
Pound Arts Director Russ Tunney said:
“We are thrilled to have the Arts Council’s generous support for our capital project, and delighted with the public’s contributions to our Renovation Fund so far. One of our regular visitors put herself through the incredible challenge of running a double marathon to raise sponsorship, and several of our regular hire groups have hosted fundraising events. We are grateful for the ongoing support of our community as we push towards our final goal, and the crucial investment from Arts Council England and Wiltshire Council towards our ongoing artistic programme.”
Donations towards The Pound’s Renovation Fund can be made by contacting the venue on 01249 701628 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and for a full autumn listings please visit www.poundarts.org.uk