The Harwich Festival is pleased to announce that it has leased the former Essex County Council Adult Community Learning Centre, adjacent to the Mayflower Primary School, for a period of 5 years and will be operating it as the Harwich Arts and Heritage Centre. This fantastic opportunity enables the Festival to provide and support a wide range of activities for the local community including Arts and Heritage projects and new and exciting venues for live events.
Harwich Festival also works with New Heritage Solutions, who are based in the Centre, and are managing the National Lottery Heritage Fund project ‘Harwich Haven – Surrender to Sanctuary’ which commemorates the surrender of the German U Boats in Harwich Harbour in 1918 and the Kindertransport in 1938. This important partnership and the potential for future heritage projects in the Harwich area has led to Heritage being an important strand in the Centre’s activities.
Peter Davis, Artistic Director for the Harwich Festival, said:
‘This is an exciting time for the Harwich Festival. The Festival has developed over the last 8 years into an all year round Arts Organisation that works with a range of partners to run creative and performing arts projects to support the whole community.
This is an opportunity to move us up to the next level with our very own Centre. Already we have a range of arts actibities in the Centre such as after school art classes, Dressmaking classes, Ballroom Dancing, Amateur Dramatics, Scottish Country Dancing, Ukulele group, dance for pre-school children and dance for children with special education needs. We also have women only fitness classes and have hosted a children’s rugby school.
Future activities include hosting the Pas de Deux Show, our Year 5 Creative Arts and Heritage Conference plus other workshops for schools. We also have live events with Two Man Ting on Saturday 13th April performing their new Afro-roots album and Eastern Angles performing The Tide Jetty on Wednesday 29th May.
With 3 classrooms, a large hall and a kitchen there is plenty of space and the intention is to keep hire rates low to support local community groups.
This has been quite an effort to secure this building for the benefit of local people and I would like to thank the people who have helped us along the way including our Harwich Festival Trustees and Committee, New Heritage Solutions, Essex County Council Strengthening Communities team and our County Councillor Ivan Henderson.’
Any individual or group who is interested in using the Harwich Arts and Heritage Centre please contact our General Manager Michael Offord via the Harwich Festival website www.harwichfestival.co.uk, on 07425 145022 or in the Harwich Box Office.