The Birth of a true community Arts Centre
In 1984 the Methodist Church was being remodelled and no longer needed the Sunday School situated at the top of the hill behind the church. Led by Dr John Coope and Mrs Pat Penney, a group of keen actors and singers formed a trust and negotiated loans in order to buy the Sunday School building, renaming it Bollington Arts Centre.
After a lot of fundraising and hard work, the loans were paid off and the Arts Centre is still providing a rehearsal and performance space for its regular users as well as a programme of concerts, talks, classes and exhibitions for everyone to access. It is run entirely by volunteers and is self-supporting.
The auditorium has excellent acoustics and a warm intimate atmosphere where one can almost ‘feel at home’. The Gallery, as well as housing a licensed bar, provides a light and airy space for exhibitions; these change frequently and in most cases the work is for sale. Upstairs, there are two meeting rooms – one suitable for small (12 pax) committee-type meetings and the other suitable for larger (40 pax) meetings, rehearsals, classes etc.
Bollington Festival Players meet on Monday and Wednesday evenings, the Festival Choir on Tuesday, Bollington Light Opera Group on Thursday and a children’s music theatre group on Sunday afternoon. A Bridge Club plays on Thursday afternoon and Friday evening and there are currently two embroidery classes, two art groups, Italian and Spanish classes and dancing classes for a variety of ages – toddlers included, all taking place during the day.
A programme of events is organised for the Autumn, Winter and Spring – these include regular jazz and chamber music concerts, a comedy club and a series of talks on a wide variety of subjects, as well as occasional poetry readings.
It is possible to hire rooms in the Arts Centre for social and corporate events, exhibitions and performances. Check out our Venue Hire pages for more details. Please note that we are not currently taking bookings for private parties.
For availability contact the Bookings Secretary by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 07787 202 273
For general information about Bollington Arts Centre please e-mail email@example.com.
We can cater for and provide various equipment for most requirements. For a full listing of our technical specifications please download our .pdf document. It is also possible to download a plan of the auditorium. AVAILABLE SHORTLY
Art exhibitions – David Ransley 01625 575287
Bollington Art Group (Weds) – 01625 402372
Bollington Art Group (Tues) – Sheila Ratcliffe 01625 877844
Bollington Brass Band – www.bollingtonbrass.com – Bev Needham 01625 576367
Bollington Chamber Concerts – Jackie Murphy 01625 576402
Bollington Comedy Club – firstname.lastname@example.org
Bollington Festival Choir – website – Donald Judge 0161 225 4680
Bollington Festival Music Theatre – website – Donald Judge 0161 225 4680
Bollington Festival Players – Kath Portlock 01625 574085
Bookings secretary – John Minister email@example.com
Bridge Club – June Cash 01625 575508
Children’s Music Theatre – website – Donald Judge 0161 225 4680
Creative embroidery and textile art classes – Ann Ford 01625 560459
Dance classes – Sue Lane 01625 576118
Italian classes – Audrey Parnell 01625 572130
Jazz – Bernard Selby 01625 574410
Music Appreciation – firstname.lastname@example.org – Ken Singer 01625 572648
Spanish classes – Kate Barraclough 01625 583897
Talks – email@example.com
WI Art Group – Sheila Ratcliffe 01625 877844
Sponsors and supporters
Bollington Arts Centre is indebted to its many Sponsors & Supporters of which there are too many to name here – you know who you are – thank you.
We are also very grateful for the support we have received from WREN for £40,000 towards a new roof in 2009 and a further £30,000 for refurbishment of our auditorium in 2011, to Cheshire East Council for £2,000 towards auditorium curtains in 2013, for £30,000 towards refurbishment of our Pat Penney Room as part of a S.106 agreement in 2014 and for £750 along with £250 from Bollington Town Council towards our new website in 2015.
Dr John Coope M.D. M.B.E 1928 – 2005
Dr John was a true Bollingtonian with a strong sense of civic duty and a man of science with a passion for the Arts. Our local G.P. was also respected internationally for his research into hypertension, puppets and Chekhov. He tended the sick; he galvanised a small town.
In 1964 Dr John initiated the first Bollington Festival, his vision being “to rekindle the community spirit”. It encouraged home-grown talents and gave rise to numerous groups still thriving today. Subsequent festivals reinvigorate this “celebration of local vitality”, featuring existing societies and prompting new ones.
Dr John’s inimitable energy and talent for sparking enthusiasm made the Arts Centre possible. He led the group of trustees who bought the building and he guided its expansion from theatre and rehearsal space to today’s dynamic home for arts, culture and social endeavour, accessible to everyone.
Much of what is unique and fine about Bollington is due to the inspiration of Dr John Coope. Certainly, Bollington Arts Centre is indebted to him.