A PLACE to be proud of and a great day for Stratford.
Those were the words of Midland news anchor Nick Owen at the formal handover of Stratford ArtsHouse – formerly Stratford Civic Hall – to new management on Friday (April 11).
The new venue has been made possible by a £1.8 million cash injection from Stratford Town Trust, which owns the building.
But on Friday it handed management over to the newly formed Stratford-upon-Avon ArtsHouse Trust, which, as a dedicated charity, will be able to get extra funding and provide a wider programme of events.
A day of celebrations to mark the handover included music from the Stratford Girls’ Jazz Band, dance performances from the Mezzo Dance Company and a special appearance by Andrew James who performed Soldier On – the single released in memory of fallen Claverdon soldier Conrad Lewis and to raise money for the 353 charity his parents set up in his memory.
And completing a line up of local talent, catering for the event was provide by students from Stratford College.
The ceremony itself saw John Lancaster, chairman of the Town Trust, hand over a certificate to the chair of the new ArtsHouse Trust, BBC journalist and programme maker Will Hanrahan.
Mr Hanrahan thanked all those at the Town Trust for the ‘bold step’ they had taken in making Stratford ArtsHouse a reality.
“We called it the ArtsHouse because it is a house – a home for the town – for people who like to express themselves through the arts.
“Change is never easy, the Town Trust took a big bold step – a big thank you for that.”
Helen Munro, Chief Executive of Stratford Town Trust, said she was looking forward to the future.
She added: “It has been an exciting project to direct and I wish the new ArtsHouse Trust every success in this wonderful new venue for Stratford.”
Visit www.stratfordartshouse.co.uk for further information.