Monday, February 8, 2010
ONGAR: Work begins on £6.2million theatre and arts centre
The Theatre Resource group, which specialises in projects for disabled people, already has an arts and stage complex on the site in Stony Hill, but wants to expand its capacity and geographical reach with the space and resources provided by the new structure.
The plans include a multi-purpose studio, teaching rooms, 25 bedrooms for those staying on courses at the centre and nine flats for long-term students with special needs.
It is hoped that the building work will be completed by early 2011.
Theatre Resource director and chief executive, Jeff Banks, said: "I am thrilled that building work is finally about to get underway and that our plans for the new centre are beginning to be realised.
"It is truly an exciting time for Theatre Resource".
Theatre Resource, which has a staff of 25, made more than £1.2million last year and is believed to be the biggest disabled-led arts group in the country to own its own arts centre.
Over the last year the centre has ran workshops and courses for more than 2,900 disabled and disadvantaged young people and adults, and attracted over 18,000 visits.
The project has been made possible thanks to a variety of grants from various bodies, including Essex County Council, the East Thames Group housing association, The Rayne Foundation, The Arts Council for England, Government group Futurebuilders England and the East of England Development Agency.
Waltham Forest Guardian