Chippenham wants a vibrant arts space, not more retirement apartments
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Could we have an amazing, thriving art space in Chippenham?
The former Wiltshire College building already has a concert hall, a canteen, recording studio space, a nice outdoor area, and lots of individual rooms. It is right next to the new college building, the train station, the leisure centre, and Monkton Park. An ideal spot for an Arts Space for the community! The building has been earmarked for a new block of high-end retirement apartments, but it may not be too late to throw in a different option.
There is a Planning Committee meeting for Former Wiltshire College, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham (17/05828/FUL) taking place on Wed 21st March 2018, and I need as many signatures as possible in support of this idea.
Similar models have already been supported with success in other areas of Wiltshire:
- Corsham has Pound Arts http://www.poundarts.org.uk/pound/default.aspx
- Trowbridge has Town Hall Arts http://www.trowbridgearts.com/
- Bradford-on-Avon has the Wiltshire Music Centre https://www.wiltshiremusic.org.uk/
- Salisbury has the Salisbury Arts Centre http://www.salisburyartscentre.co.uk/ and the Sound Emporium http://www.thesoundemporium.co.uk/
- And there are several community art spaces in Bristol ( http://tobaccofactory.com/ , http://theislandbristol.com/spaces/dance-space , https://www.thejamjarbristol.com/ , https://www.hamiltonhouse.org/whos-here/ )
All of these venues are thriving, and mostly are operating in previously under-utilised Council owned properties. Chippenham has nothing like this.
The benefits to the community could be enormous. Potential uses within the space could include live performances, theatre, youth activities, community events, art exhibitions, music studios, purpose built rehearsal rooms and artists studios for hire, tuition spaces, fundraising, community kitchen, and anything else creative minds can come up with.
Please sign this petition, the more weight we can get behind the idea the more likely the council will consider it. There is a lot of work and planning still to go into this, but this is the first step towards something good.
Some more info about the building is available on the Chippenham Civic Society's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ChippenhamCivicSociety/
Feel free to join the discussion on the Chippenham Arts Culture & Events group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/823916881083723/
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