Greenham Trust and Corn Exchange Newbury have announced the approval of the planning application for its new site for community engagement and creative wellbeing programmes. Once refurbished, the former library building in Cheap Street, Newbury will house a 100-seat studio theatre, along with a dedicated home in the town centre for all of the Corn Exchange’s creative learning activities.
Katy Griffiths, Director of Corn Exchange Newbury, commented: “We are thrilled with the news that our application has been approved. We are really excited to have the opportunity to make a permanent home for all our community engagement work, as well as a new performance space for smaller-scale touring work in a much-loved Newbury heritage building. Working with Greenham Trust we will be restoring this beautiful, historical building and bringing it back into public use for the benefit of our local community.”
Chris Boulton, Chief Executive of Greenham Trust, said: “We are delighted to have finally found a solution to accommodate the Corn Exchange’s outreach activities in West Berkshire. I believe the Old Library is an ideal building for them and will quickly become an exciting new facility for all the community to enjoy.
Built in 1906, the new site was the borough library until 2000 but has stood empty for the last few years. It was used as a restaurant in the interim. The Corn Exchange is committed to honouring the legacy of the building. This unique partnership between a visionary local Trust and a thriving arts centre means that this beautiful building will now be restored to public use for the benefit of the local community.
Corn Exchange has a strong track record of engaging and contributing to the local Newbury community through its cultural programmes and activities for people of all ages. The expansion into this new space will provide even more opportunities for everyone in the local community to benefit from the positive impact that being involved in creative activities has on wellbeing. As plans progress the Corn Exchange will be launching a capital fundraising campaign to raise the funds to repurpose the space.