T50 Legacy-Wellington arts & community centre to open in Apr

Thanks to help from Telford & Wrekin Council’s Telford 50 Legacy Fund and the hard work of dedicated volunteers, a new arts and community centre will open next month in Wellington.

The project, managed by the Clifton Community Arts Centre trading as Wellington Orbit, will see the former HSBC bank building in central Wellington transformed into the community venue. 

Work is well underway on the café/bar and 63 seat cinema area on the ground floor as well as for the multi-purpose rooms on the upper floors and basement that community groups will be able to use.
The new centre will also provide opportunities for people to display artwork and develop arts activities.

Sophie Eades, Chief Officer of the Centre, said: “In the last couple of months, work has progressed really well at Wellington Orbit – with a complete refurbishment of the ground floor including new flooring, new projection screen and seats, a completely new commercial kitchen and servery area, as well as a new staircase to the first floor. 

“The plans are to open the ground floor first, with the café area and cinema, so that our community can start to use the centre as soon as possible and then renovate the second floor, where rooms will be available for a range of different community activities.”

“We cannot thank our contractor enough, as they are working really hard to keep to the schedule.”

Wellington Town Council chose to use its £150,000 Telford 50 Legacy Fund grant to support the Wellington Orbit project.
The grant is part of a £750,000 scheme funded by Telford & Wrekin Council’s £2m Telford 50 Legacy fund, giving £150,000 to the borough’s five main Town Councils, including Wellington.

The project attracts a match funding of at least £37,500, with more expected to be unlocked as a result of this major grant from Telford & Wrekin Council.

Cllr Cindy Mason-Morris, Mayor of Wellington, said “The Telford 50 Legacy Fund grant has been instrumental in helping the Wellington Orbit to move ahead. 

"It is perhaps the most exciting community - led project in Wellington’s recent history and will benefit generations to come – a great legacy of Telford’s 50th anniversary.

“It will provide people with the arts & cultural centre they’ve been asking for, for many years and is set to become a key meeting point, attracting people to spend more time and money in Wellington.
“It will also create new jobs and volunteering opportunities and we do hope it will become a focal point for people in the community as well as boosting local businesses.”

Councillor Lee Carter, Cabinet Member for Economic Development said: “The refurbishment or purchase of community buildings and facilities is one of the key themes people have told us they wanted the Telford 50 legacy funding to support.

“We are delighted that this grant is helping this long sought- after cinema and arts centre become a reality very soon – after a 5 year campaign by the Clifton Group.

“It supports our wider regeneration aims for Wellington, further developing what the town has to offer.

“As such, it will positively impact on everyone living, working and visiting Wellington and the wider borough - another true lasting legacy of Telford’s 50th celebration year!”

The £2 million Telford 50 Legacy Fund supports a mix of physical schemes as well as other projects that help tackle key social issues in the borough and reduce demand on council services.

Details of all legacy projects are on www.telford50.co.uk

CAPTION left to right – Ray Hughes (Finance Director Wellington Orbit),Cllr Phil Morris-Jones (Wellington Town Council), Fiona Hunter (PR & Media Director Wellington Orbit), Cllr Lee Carter (Cabinet Member for Finance, Commercial Services & Economic Development), Cllr Cindy Mason-Morris (Mayor of Wellington), Sarah Chard (Project Manager Wellington Orbit)

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