Ambitious plans for new arts centre in Evesham

Ambitious plans to transform a town’s mothballed public hall into an arts and heritage centre have been put forward.

The landmark and grade II-listed Public Hall building in the heart of Evesham town centre would be transformed into a new home celebrating the town’s art and heritage.

Most of the building closed in 2012 and has remained empty since.

The work to the iconic but empty town centre building forms part of the £9 million bid Wychavon District Council made to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund which is designed to help support schemes that improve and regenerate town centres.

Under the plan the hall, ground floor and basement will be refurbished and remodelled as the new home for Evesham Arts Association.

As well as providing a home for an extensive arts programme, there would also be a café, rooms for hire and facilities for community activities including weddings and other functions.

The council is also working with the team from the Story of Evesham to create a “unique and innovative” multi-sensory virtual reality visitor attraction based on the town’s heritage.

The focus would be on the history of Evesham Abbey, Simon de Montfort and the Battle of Evesham.

The application by PJK Investments said: “These proposals seek to refurbish and repurpose the existing internal spaces so that they will meet modern requirements, whilst respecting the existing historic building fabric.

“These alterations are needed to allow the building to be of a quality standard and have the necessary modern accommodation and facilities to allow the building spaces to be commercially sustainable.

“This will pay for its ongoing operating costs, both now and in the future by being transformed into a vibrant community hub facility breathing new life into this historic venue and to the wider Evesham town centre.

“The aim is to create an adaptable performance space which will open up the hall to a wide variety of live performance, whilst also making it a very attractive community facility suited to hosting a whole range of events.”

By Christian Barnett - Local Democracy Reporter

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