The School Room (Penryn Arts Centre)

The School Room (Penryn Arts Centre)

Lead Organisation: GW Arts CIC

Investment Priority: Community & Place

Fund: Culture and Heritage-led Regeneration and Skills

SPF awarded: £494,443

Location: Truro and Falmouth

The School Room project sees the transformation of a neglected Grade II Listed building in Penryn’s town centre into a vibrant art centre with community art room, artist studios and creative workspace. It is the first phase of a larger project to transform the whole site, including the former Penryn Methodist church, into a major new creative space for Penryn and the wider region.

The project is run by GW Arts CIC, a non-profit arts organisation based at Grays Wharf in Penryn. They have been running exhibitions and community engagement projects and providing creative workspace since 2019. Needing more space, they began using the School Room to run weekly creative social groups. With the news that the School Room and the church would be sold, the team began planning and fundraising to take them on. Early support from the Architecture Heritage Fund enabled site surveys and initial plans to be drawn up.

The award from the Shared Prosperity Fund has enabled the whole site to be purchased and phase one of the works to begin. The School Room development includes appropriate conservation repairs and renovations and will meet ambitious environmental standards.

Once completed, the School Room will be a warm and welcoming creative space. The new community art room will support creativity for health and well-being and offer a range of creative courses, skills training and other opportunities for the benefit of local people. Further funding is already being sought to draw up plans to convert the church into an accessible, welcoming and high-quality contemporary art gallery showcasing work by local, national and international artists. Until then, a range of creative ‘meanwhile’ projects will take place in the church.

The transformation of these important heritage assets will breathe new life into Penryn’s historic town centre and support the local economy. It will create a new destination, with art exhibitions and creative activities coming together in a place where people will feel welcome, valued and inspired.

To find out more, see:
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