A £100,000 grant from Arts Council England is set to help a local charity transform the former Magistrate’s Court in Hereford into an accessible, creative destination for the local community while also reducing its environmental impact.
2Faced Dance moved into the Grade II listed building in the heart of Hereford just before the first national lockdown in 2020. Now renamed the Centre for Movement, the prison cells have already been converted into changing rooms while the former judge’s bench is now a studio.
The Old Court is the base for 2Faced and is used for creating and rehearsing work, collaborating with other artists and running dance classes for young people. External classes in activities such as pilates and tai chi also run from the venue.
The investment from ACE’s Capital Investment Fund will support the leading dance company’s plans to not only reduce its environmental impact but also to make the venue more accessible to enable more collaboration with disabled artists and easier access for the local community. Plans have been spearheaded by Tamsin Fitzgerald, Artistic Director, and championed by disabled dance artist and 2Faced trustee Julie Cleves.
Showbiz and choreography legend Dame Arlene Phillips DBE is Patron of 2Faced. She said:
“Accessibility is at the heart of everything we do with a particular focus on removing barriers to dance. This investment will help us bring together disabled and non-disabled artists as well as widen access to visitors. Obviously, in a listed building that has thrown up some challenges but we are really excited by the plans and can’t wait to welcome everyone into the Centre for Movement.”
The Centre for Movement currently hosts a weekly inclusive dance class and the space is used by local collaborator Kris Saunders, a wheelchair dance artist.
The grant is also being invested to enable the company to reduce its impact on the environment, investing in an electric vehicle, LED lighting and bike racks allowing the dance company to be more sustainable at home and whilst on tour.
2Faced is just one of 66 cultural organisations across the country who have been awarded a share of more than £22.7 million.
The Capital Investment Programme aims to help cultural organisations across the country transform their buildings and equipment so they can operate safely post-pandemic, improve access, seize technological opportunities, and reduce environmental impact.
Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said “World class creativity and culture needs a resilient and sustainable infrastructure to allow it to flourish. With these investments in the buildings, equipment, and digital systems of cultural organisations across England, we are helping to secure the future of that infrastructure, and making sure that people from every part of the country can continue enjoying all the benefits it delivers for years to come.”