Council funding helps create arts hub in Exeter City Centre
Published: 16 July 2021
A not-for-profit organisation that uses visual arts to engage and inspire a diverse range of audiences is settling into its new home in the heart of Exeter city centre, thanks partly to funding from Exeter City Council.
The Council awarded Positive Light Projects £12,558 from its Strategic Fund to help build a creative and cultural working and teaching space in an old disused retail space in Sidwell Street.
The other money – around £50,000 – needed to make the three-storey building habitable came largely from a £35,000 crowdfunding campaign, as well as £14,501 from Devon County Council.
Positive Light Projects is now up and running on the ground floor of its new home but still has a little to do to refurbish and kit out the upper floors of the building, which will eventually be a series of art and photography studios and creative spaces available for hire.
Positive Light Projects is one of four organisations that have benefitted from the Council’s Strategic Fund.
The Fund was launched in March to help pay for the refurbishment of community buildings. To be eligible, groups had to be close to completing their fundraising target and have their refurbishment project ‘on the shelf’ and ready to go.
Brendan Barry, of Positive Light Projects, said: “The building had been empty for about five years and needed a LOT of work! The money we raised has gone towards mains electrical distribution and power outlets throughout the building, lighting & emergency lighting, building wide heating, a new fire detection system, plumbing works including a street level accessible toilet and plenty of cleaning, painting & decorating.
“We are close to finishing the building and are already running activities in the space. We have an exciting range of workshops, collaborations and events lined up over the summer and we can’t wait to welcome all of the amazing people who have contributed to the project and helped make it come up life!”
Cllr Amal Ghusain. Lead Councillor for Culture and Communities, said: “Positive Light is a fantastic project that is playing an important role in reinvigorating Sidwell Street and could be the spark for other artistic and cultural initiatives to follow and take root.
“I have no doubt that this exciting initiative will bring real benefits to so many people in Exeter and I can’t wait to hear about its success stories moving forward.”
To find out more visit the Positive Light Projects' website https://www.positivelightprojects.com/