Celebrations as purchase of landmark Wellington building paves way for 'cultural hub'
A Telford arts group is set to move ahead with the creation of a 'cultural hub' after the purchase of a landmark building was completed.
It has been confirmed that the former bank building in Market Square, Wellington, has been bought by Telford & Wrekin Council and the Clifton Community Arts Centre Limited (CCAC) – trading as Wellington Orbit.
The building is already home to the Wellington Orbit cinema, and will now be owned by CCAC, with plans afoot for a further transformation to create a 'cultural hub for the town'.
It is the first time since 1918 that the building has been owned by Wellington residents.
The purchase of the building comes after Telford & Wrekin Council’s successful bid for Central Government Capital Regeneration Funding, and fundraising by CCAC.
A statement from Telford & Wrekin Council said the purchase was "in response to the community's desire for a vibrant evening economy and an enriched leisure and cultural offering in the area".
It added that the purchase would "kick start the restoration of additional floor space".
The aim is to transform the building with new exhibition, community and arts facilities – offering everything from exercise and art classes to meeting rooms and space for outreach services.
The statement added: "The restoration will bring a building of great character back to life and it will be a key landmark for Wellington Town Centre and a great community asset."
Phil Morris-Jones, of CCAC, said, "The acquisition of our building marks an exciting new chapter in our commitment to delivering a vibrant arts and cultural centre for the community of Wellington and beyond.
"We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our members, customers, staff, volunteers, Telford & Wrekin Council and Wellington Town Council, all of whom have supported us on our journey."
Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council's cabinet member for place (the economy and neighbourhood services), added: “This acquisition is fantastic news and testament to Telford & Wrekin Council's dedication to local high streets and enhancing our local cultural scene.
"Whilst the council have done a fantastic job to secure the funding from Government, none of these schemes would work without the investment of our own funding.
"The Orbit, Wellington Market, Station Quarter, Theatre Quarter Oakengates and the council’s ongoing Pride in Our High Street Investments in Newport, Madeley, Ironbridge, Dawley, Wellington and Oakengates are all testament to the council’s commitment to investing in Telford & Wrekin’s Future.”