Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford

Surrey splashing out


Making a Claygate outdoor swimming pool an all year round indoor facility is one of many projects supported by Surrey County Council’s Community Fund. Since November 2020 the Fund has splashed out over £10 million. This year sees a commitment of £2.9 million to Surrey’s premier theatre, The Yvonne Arnaud in Guildford.

The money will be used to improve the accessibility of the entire theatre and ensure existing and new community spaces be accessible for a variety of new groups, building on the community initiatives and outreach programmes already delivered by the theatre.

Joanna Read, Theatre Director and Chief Executive of Yvonne Arnaud said: “By making this award Surrey County Council is recognising the value the people of Surrey place upon the Yvonne Arnaud and its’ integral role as an arts provider across the county. This funding will help make the theatre accessible, sustainable and fit for purpose, better able to serve Surrey for future generations.

The Arts play a critical role in supporting our health and wellbeing and building cohesive communities. It’s good to have the backing of our County Council as we continue our work bringing excellent theatre and arts engagement to the people of Surrey. Our vision for the Arnaud maintains its theatre traditions while building on our creative heart; repurposing a 1960’s building to deliver multi-faceted offerings for 21st century audiences.

Surrey County Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety Denise Turner-Stewart said“This is a truly ambitious project to develop Guildford’s iconic and much-loved building into a friendly, cultural community hub and is exactly the sort of project which offers a wider community benefit.

Surrey’s cultural offer caters for all ages and budgets.  It is an important part of what makes the county a great place to live, work and visit. I would like to congratulate Yvonne Arnaud who have been successful in their application to Your Fund Surrey.

Improving accessibility will enable Yvonne Arnaud to build on its existing excellent reputation and become a place everyone can enjoy.”

Master Park Pavilion in Oxted, another recent successful applicant to Your Fund Surrey Large Community Project Fund, will receive £1.86m towards replacing the current building with a new fit-for-purpose two-storey community and sports hub.

The Park Hub, set in the 11-acre park will become a valuable resource for the whole community with new facilities including a café, rooms for classes and community activities, improved changing facilities and accessible toilets.

Pammy McNaughton, Chair of Master Park said: “We will be forever grateful to Your Fund Surrey for helping Master Park towards this goal. We knew that our request for £1.86 million was a large sum, but by granting us this amount, not only will Your Fund Surrey be helping Master Park Charity, but they will also be helping the many other charities, activities, clubs, and communities that we are engaged with.”

Other projects awarded funding via Your Fund Surrey so far include:

Claygate Community Pool, £363,500 to develop an existing outdoor pool into an indoor facility that will enable the whole community to use the pool all year round.

Leatherhead & Dorking Gymnastics Club, £550,000 to extend the current facilities and build a new gymnasium and sensory room.

Normandy Community Shop and Café, £570,189 towards building a new community shop and café at Manor Fruit Farm

Ripley Village Hall, £645,036 towards rebuilding of the Village Hall, including accessible community rooms and a new kitchen.

South Park Sports Association, £150,000 towards the construction and installation of a 3G artificial grass pitch with a spectator area.

Tatsfield Parish Council, £10,146 to install new picnic benches and planters on the village green.

Weybridge Men’s Shed, £30,000 towards the internal fit-out of two sheds and the installation of an underground water treatment system.

Communities can submit applications via the Your Fund Surrey website for both small and large scale community projects and have their say on projects being proposed in their local area www.surreycc.gov.uk/yourfund.

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