£180,000.00 awarded to Cinderford Town Council for The Wesley Community & Arts Centre in Cinderford

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£180,000.00 awarded to Cinderford Town Council for The Wesley Community & Arts Centre in Cinderford, Forest of Dean from Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme

  • The Wesley Community & Arts Centre in Cinderford, Forest of Dean to benefit from a share of £24.2 million through Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme
  • Awards from Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme go towards building works and the purchase of equipment and other assets to improve access, seize on technological opportunities and reduce environmental impact.

8 May, 2024. Cinderford Town Council will receive £180,000.00 from Arts Council England, thanks to its Government-funded Capital Investment Programme, as announced today.

The awarded capital investment will continue to fund the GII listed building refurbishment of The Wesley Community & Arts Centre and assist in providing stage improvements including stage lighting/audio & sound works, an accessible catering kitchen, an upgrade to existing facilities, complete redecoration throughout, enhanced toilets and accessible toilet facilities, provide decarbonisation and energy efficiency improvements to ensure the Arts community throughout the Forest of Dean and farther afield can enjoy a safe, inclusive creative space for many years to come. 

This funding will enable The Wesley Community & Arts Centre to provide high quality creative and cultural experiences for people in the Forest of Dean. 

The Capital Investment Programme supports the Arts Council’s mission to ensure communities across the country have the infrastructure where creativity for everyone can thrive. 

Ed O’Driscoll, Executive Director, Arts in Rural Gloucestershire saidThis is simply fabulous news for our Youth Theatre and the wider community. To have a properly equipped performance space in the heart of Cinderford will give residents the opportunity to experience some amazing shows, and our young people professional facilities to showcase their incredible work. We’re really delighted Arts Council England have made this award but also hugely grateful to the Town Council team who’ve been working incredibly hard to make this happen … Cinderford is truly lucky to have such dedicated staff.”

Sally Gibson, Artistic Director, Cinderford Artspace saidCinderford Artspace is delighted to learn about the investment received from Arts Council England for the Town Council to improve the Wesley Community and Arts Centre. This is a building of significance to the town that Cinderford Town Council is regenerating as a home for a large range of local groups providing a creative space for participation and to bring exciting performances to the heart of the Forest of Dean. The Town Council’s partnership with, and support for Artspace, makes Cinderford’s offer to our community stronger. Improving accessibility to all areas of the Wesley will diversity audiences providing the facilities the community deserves”. 

Les Love, Estates Manager said:To receive this Grant Award will make a such a difference to so many people.  We will be able to provide a performance space in Cinderford that will benefit not only the local Community but The Forest of Dean.  We will be able to provide professional facilities for all performers to showcase their talents.  We will be able to offer a fantastic Theatre space for all ages and abilities.  We will be able to do all this thanks to the Arts Council Grant Award…and together, we will put Arts on the Map with Cinderford at its heart”. 

Graham Morgan, Chairman, Cinderford Town Council said: “Cinderford Town Council are extremely grateful to receive this superb Grant, it will help us to finish a project where we have been able to turn the very beautiful Wesley Church into a very fine Art & Community Facility for Cinderford.  This Grant will create accessibility to renewed Kitchen and Toilet facilities and help the Town Council finish off the newly rebuilt performance stage, which in turn will enable use of the stage by arts and community organisations.  New heating and Solar energy generation will help the Grade two listed building become far more efficient with its running costs; it will also portray this building as a beacon of what can be achieved towards climate change even with older buildings”.

Di Martin, Vice-Chair, Cinderford Town Council said: The grant received from the Arts Council has enabled Cinderford Town Council to increase access to our wonderful Wesley venue for our local Community and the wider District area. We will now be able to host events to involve all age groups and abilities, making it a fantastic venue for a multitude of genres and art activities”. 

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: “This infrastructure investment will help a whole range of different cultural organisations across England to flourish, increasing opportunities for people to enjoy creatively excellent cultural events close to where they live. It’s particularly important that we’re making this happen in communities where cultural investment has historically been low”.

Phil Gibby, South West Area Director, Arts Council England, adds: “We are thrilled to be investing over £2.7 million in ten organisations throughout the South West. Through our Capital Investment Programme, we’re helping the cultural sector upgrade its infrastructure and seize new opportunities. It’s not just bricks and mortar – with better buildings comes improved accessibility, new technology and a reduced environmental footprint. Whether it’s a portable big top on the Isle of Wight, a carnival centre in Bridgwater, or affordable art studios in Gosport – we’re unlocking creative potential all over the region. Post-pandemic this public funding matters more than ever to staff, volunteers and visitors. We can’t wait to see plans take shape.”

For further information please contact:


Cinderford Town Council

About Arts Council England

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences. From 2023 to 2026 we will invest over £467 million of public money from Government and an estimated £250 million from The National Lottery each year to help support the sector and to deliver this vision. (www.artscouncil.org.uk)