An Arts Centre For
The Power Of
An Arts Centre For Chew Valley
Who We Are
Chew Valley Performing Arts (aka Valley Arts) was formed in 2015. Registered charity no. 1163177.
It is a registered charitable incorporated organisation and was formed to promote the enjoyment, understanding and development of the performing arts through diverse and engaging artistic experiences in our local community.
To develop a hub for the
performing arts in the Chew
Valley, by giving it a
Accessible, sustainable and
authentic performing arts for all.
What We Intend To Build
A brand-new, versatile performing arts centre in the heart of the Chew Valley. Bringing local and professional performers together with the enthusiastic local audiences of our area.
At present the Chew Valley lacks a large performance space. The proposal centre is a 250-seater flexible auditorium, supported by a dance studio and several smaller meeting and rehearsal rooms.
Flexibility in design, it will allow for a cinema facility and visual arts exhibition spaces. See our current sketch plans. Input into audience capacity and facilities of the centre is actively invited from all the performing arts groups in the valley: if we haven’t already met with you please get in touch. Send us a message
Where Will It Be?
The proposed venue for the new building is land that has been made available within the grounds of Chew Valley School, part of The Lighthouse Schools Partnership Multi Academy Trust.
The contract between the charity and the Lighthouse Schools Partnership will be centred on a lease of the land, with a commensurate use of the facility by Chew Valley School’s performing arts department. With the school as an assured user, the building has every prospect of high usage throughout the day, year-round, which is an essential criterion for obtaining institutional funding.
The Outcomes We Aim To Achieve
The Centre’s activities, objectives and aims have been developed in conjunction with the social, economic and environmental goals of the Chew Valley Community Plan, the Chew Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the tourism and economic development aims of Bath & North East Somerset Council:
- Encouraging creativity in drama, arts, music and media for all age groups within the Chew Valley area
- Enhancing community cohesion, respect, and understanding
- Raising the aspirations and confidence of young people from the Chew Valley by providing a dedicated place where they can meet up, interact and perform, empowering and engaging them in purposeful, creative leisure activities
- Improving health by encouraging physical activity
- Promoting cultural and leisure opportunities in a sustainable way
- Enhancing the tourism offering of our district
Chew Valley Performing Arts Centre is more than just a performance space.
Why We Need This Centre
Our aim is that the Centre will provide new performance opportunities for the local community, as well as attracting touring professional artists. It will be a focal point for singers, actors, musicians and dancers, and will also provide flexible facilities for conferences and classes.
The Power Of Performing
“There’s something that happens when you get up on stage with a group of performers and just put on a show. You may not be the greatest actor, dancer, musician or singer but the confidence that comes from expressing yourself creatively is phenomenal.
“Many of us know how that can feel, and research also shows that involvement with the arts can measurably improve our health, well-being and quality of life. What better way could there be to do this than in a new, state-of-the-art performing arts centre for everyone who lives and works in the Chew Valley?” Steve Conway
Economic value of the arts
UK government figures show the creative industries are growing at almost twice the rate of the wider UK economy – generating £9.6million per hour.
“When we talk about the value of arts and culture to society, we always start with its intrinsic value: how arts and culture can illuminate our inner lives and enrich our emotional world.” Arts Council 2014
This is what we cherish.
However, we also understand that arts and culture has a wider, more measurable impact on our economy, health and wellbeing, society and education. It’s important we also recognise this impact to help people think of our arts and culture for what they are: a strategic national resource.
The value of arts and culture to people and society outlines the existing evidence on the impact of arts and culture on our economy, health and wellbeing, society, and education.
“I love cross-generational work: performances where people come across others from all walks of life and where a sense of common purpose comes to the fore.
“It’s good for mental health, community cohesion, life-long learning, and building audiences for the future. It supports our highly successful creative industries. It happened in London 2012, it can happen in the Chew Valley in 2018!” Geraldine Hill-Male
- A substantial multi-purpose performance arena
- An informal cultural meeting place for arts-related activities
- Rehearsal space, meeting rooms, a drama Studio and dance studio
- Exhibition space and art wall
- Coordination point for arts groups and events in the valley
- Community library information, order/exchange point.
Sketch-plan designs for the centre have been produced for us pro bono by architects Andrzej Blonski who have extensive experience designing performing arts spaces (including renovations to the Bristol Old Vic theatre).
A formal tendering process to commission more detailed architectural plans, which will be used to generate budget forecasts and public consultation, will be funded by the development phase of the project.
Land for the project has been made available by Chew Valley School on its site between Chew Magna and Chew Stoke, subject to the details of a lease of the land to our charity, Chew Valley Performing Arts.
The terms of the proposed lease will include provision for use of the new facility by the school’s performing arts department. The school’s usage will be partially or wholly set off against the value of the lease, and will help to ensure maximum occupation of the facility throughout the year.