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Beach Creative

A new and good thing is happening in Herne Bay.

A group called Beach Creative is taking up residence in Beach House, just off the William Street car park.

They are a new creative community who will be using the space to provide artists’ studios, exhibition spaces, meeting rooms and workshops.

They are having an open day on Saturday 7th July from 10am until 8pm, so go along and have a look at what they’re up to. These are nice people, doing a good thing, and they would love to see you.

A community interest company looks set to convert an empty building into a thriving centre for the arts.

Beach Creative, set up by the University for the Creative Arts, will take over Beach House and turn it into a hive of painting studios, writers’ rooms and community space. UCA will lease the building after plans to demolish it to make way for town development stalled. The council-owned building will be leased to the group for a yet-to-be-agreed rent, expected to be a nominal sum.

University outreach coordinator Gill Wilson is heading the new community interest company. She said:

“At UCA we are excited to build upon existing relationships with local schools and community groups to enable more people to become involved in the arts.”

Fellow director of the new group and artist Mandy Broughton said:

“This is an exciting new initiative for Herne Bay. In addition to providing much-needed studio space for local artists, we’re committed to playing a positive role in the local area.”

thisiskent 17th Feb 2012

Beach House in Beach Street was due to be bulldozed as part of town centre regeneration plans, but they are on hold after council bosses struggled to find investors. Charities that were based in the building, including Herne Bay Volunteer Centre, Volcare, Shopmobility and Epilepsy Here, were forced to relocate to make way for the plans and many of them ended up forking out for higher rents.

The building has now been empty for almost a year and officials plan to rent it to the University of Creative Arts. One volunteer working with the affected charities – many of which moved to Age UK’s new centre in Reculver Road – said:

“It’s a bit of an embarrassment for the council. It was rushing to get people out of it and now is worried about leaving it empty. It looks like it will be handed over to the University of Creative Arts to use as studio space.”

Council spokesman Rob Davies said:

“The former leaseholder’s tenancy of Beach House was due to end in December 2011 anyway, but early last year three of the organisations were offered alternative accommodation by Age UK, providing the opportunity to move. The other users of the building were also able to find a new home, and the council paid the moving costs of all the organisations. We would still like to have Beach House occupied, but the majority of users would want to have security of tenure, which the council is unable to offer. We are in discussions with the University of Creative Arts about their use of the building and the terms of a possible lease, which we hope to finalise in the near future.”

thisiskent 14th Feb 2012

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