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, Bollington Brass Band on Mondays and Thursdays, the Festival Choir on Tuesday and a children’s music theatre group on Sunday afternoon. A Bridge Club plays on Thursday afternoons and there are currently embroidery classes, two art groups, Spanish classes, drama and dancing classes for a variety of ages – toddlers included, all taking place during the day plus several fitness classes.
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 07712 010742.
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 – BAC Technical Specifications 2018.
We warmly welcome patrons with access needs. Our building and most of the facilities are accessible for everyone with audio loop available in the main auditorium.
Art Exhibitions – Deborah Graham – 07772 967746
Art on Tuesdays – 07786 515339 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Bollington Art Group (Weds) – 07769697202 – www.bollingtonartgroup.co.uk
Bollington Chamber Concerts – 01625 572648 – email@example.com
Bollington Comedy Club – firstname.lastname@example.org
Bollington Festival Choir – 01625 511881
Bollington Festival Players – TBC
Bookings Secretary – Tim on email@example.com or 07712 010742
Bridge Club – Andy Pankhurst on 01625 573235 or Peter Dodsworth on 01625 575482
Dance Classes – Sue Lane 01625 576118
Family History Group – https://www.facebook.com/bollingtonfhc/ – 01625 574410
French Conversation – Klmcc30@hotmail.com – 07581 889901
Hatha Yoga Classes – firstname.lastname@example.org – Deborah on 07772 967746
IntaStitch Textile Art – email@example.com
Jazz – Bernard Selby 01625 574410
Macc Forest Pilates – firstname.lastname@example.org – 07961 937030
Music Appreciation – email@example.com – 01625 572648
Sue Lane Dance – 07597 743678
Spanish Classes – 01625 536778
Talks – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tiny Talk Baby Sign – email@example.com – 07941 904033
WI Art Group – Sheila Ratcliffe 01625 877844
Yoga Classes – firstname.lastname@example.org – Deborah on 07772 967746
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.
Mrs PAT PENNEY BA(Hons) 1930 – 2014
In 1984 Pat Penney spotted that Bollington Methodist Church was selling its Sunday School, tucked away up the hill just behind it. With Dr John Coope, she led a group of enthusiastic locals, many initially brought together in 1964 for the first Bollington
Festival, to purchase that building. In later years she played a vital role in its expansion too, serving for many years on the guiding Management Committee. It is now this thriving, multi-purpose Bollington Arts Centre (BAC).
Pat was an enthusiastic and gifted singer, actress and theatre director who constantly inspired and encouraged many in our community. She had been a key member of Festival Players, Choir, and Bollington Light Opera Group since their modest beginnings but she had the vision of a permanent home for Bollington groups that could flourish in rehearsal and performance. Groups grew and new ones formed, always with Pat’s enthusiastic support. Pat felt it very important to inspire young people and so set up her Children’s drama courses under the banner of Janus Studios.
Many children passed through the doors of BAC and thanks to Janus Studios developed a lifetime love of theatre and performance. Now grown they no doubt continue to support and enjoy BAC. She was a loyal friend who happily shared her talents to grow this unique community asset. We are proud to name a key rehearsal space upstairs the Pat Penney Room.
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.