NW Evenng Mail Wednesday, 10 June 2009
WORK to transform a historic Barrow building into an arts centre is set to start this summer, thanks to a cash windfall.
A £1.5m revamp to Victorian Cooke’s Building in Abbey Road will begin in August after the project was awarded a £675,000 Community Assets government grant this week.
The former nightclub will be given a new lease of life as a community media and arts centre. The remainder of the funding for the revamp comes from the Heritage Lottery Fund grant and was secured by Barrow Borough Council.
Creative Studios Cumbria, a sister company of Barrow-based company Signal Films and future lead tenants of the building, is spearheading the project.
Kerry Kolbe, a director at Creative Studios Cumbria, said: “We’re hoping that work will start in August and it should take about a year, but obviously we’ve got to have room for any changes which might happen during that time.”
The refurbished building will have a creative ICT suite, workshop, digital filmmaking studio, rehearsal and exhibition space and a cafe.
It will also be open for use to community groups and organisations.
Millionaire fashion guru Wayne Hemingway MBE is a vision adviser and advocate for the project.
The 1875-built building, once Sub Zero nightclub and currently covered by a Love Barrow banner, will be refurbished and historical features on its exterior will be restored.