Over the next few weeks the Farnham Maltings’ Great Hall will be the next target of a regenerative programme which aims to improve the facilities for all.
The Maltings is constantly adapting and improving the buildings to make the best use of the space available. It is an adventure that began over 40 years ago and is continued today with the same ambition and passion for improvement.
In the 1960s the Maltings complex was rescued from dereliction by the people of Farnham and now it is home to a growing ambition to bring the best events and festivals to local, regional and national audiences and create opportunities for people to participate in the arts.
Director Gavin Stride said, “In many ways we have been fortunate to not have a major lottery funded capital programme because that would have required us to take a fixed view of what we should be. Whereas we have been able to evolve as needs and resources allow.”
The latest stage of development will allow the Maltings to improve the Great Hall and back-stage area. In the Great Hall the technical equipment is to be upgraded, the hall itself redecorated and the seating refurbished. Back-stage, the dressing rooms and toilets will undergo extensive refurbishment.
The recent investment from Arts Council England into the Maltings’ national theatre programmes, including house and caravan, does not extend into operational costs and building redevelopment. For this the Maltings relies on the support of a number of partners and its own ability to generate income. This redevelopment scheme has therefore been made possible by the continued support of Waverley Borough Council, a number of trusts and foundations and the Farnham Maltings members and donors.
Stride continued, “We want to ensure the Maltings for future generations by developing these buildings as a set of convivial, cared for spaces used by as many people as possible. This will take time. Indeed I hope we never stop looking for new ways to use these buildings.”
Farnham Maltings recently saw the installation of new courtyard gates crafted by local artist Oliver Russell. Over the summer they will also be replacing the Tindle Studio roof with assistance from SITA Trust.