New home for Totnes FM as South Devon Arts Centre is given green light
An empty industrial building in Totnes will be turned into a fabulous new arts and entertainment venue.
South Devon Arts Centre has now been given the green light following the planning approval, it was announced today.
South Hams District Council gave the project the green light today for the venue which will provide the local community with a state-of-the-art venue, exhibition space and a new home for community radio station Totnes FM.
David Parsley, chairman of SDAC, said: “This is wonderful news and we thank South Hams for approving the project. We’d also like to thank Totnes Town Council for supporting us and all those who wrote to the planning authorities to give their support.
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“Work will begin on transforming the space to provide Totnes and the south Devon community with a wonderfully creative space very soon.”
The not-for-profit scheme will include a new 250 capacity live performance venue, a 70-seat theatre and cinema, art exhibition space, recording studios and Totnes FM, which will launch on its FM frequency later this year.
The refurbishment will be completed in two stages, with the main auditorium and exhibition space completed in May, with the theatre and cinema following later in the year.
As well as gaining the crucial support from local planners, the project has gained backing from big name supporters such as Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson.
Music and broadcast legends Jools Holland OBE and Bob Harris OBE have also become Patrons of the centre, alongside national theatre playwright Peter Oswald, film and television director Peter Richardson, internationally renowned poet Alice Oswald and local music star Mae Karthauser, who will be performing at the Glastonbury Festival this summer.
Local businesses and individuals have also provided support, with health food store Greenlife, solicitors Windeatts, Harrisons Garage and sound equipment providers Absolute Music among those backing the scheme.
Thanks to their help and a substantial private donation, the project has raised the funds required to complete the refurbishment in a little over two months.
“We cannot do this without the support of the local community, so we’re incredible grateful to all the businesses and individuals who have helped us. People have been incredibly generous and we cannot thank them enough.” said Mr Parsley.
The centre will launch its packed schedule of music, comedy, theatre and cinema in late May, bringing 11 much needed jobs to Totnes, with more positions planned in the following year. An announcement of the Grand Opening event, as well as some other big surprises, will be made by the end of this month.
SDAC will also host many different classes and workshops, and put on many special events specifically aimed at young people.
The space will also be available for hire to anyone wishing to put on large or small events.