A new public space

posted Thu 11 February 2021

News Story

show your support with just a couple of minutes of your time

Surrey County Council is investing £100m in local communities over the next five years on projects that improve their local area. Your Fund Surrey encourages local people to get involved and to think big. One of the major ambitions of the Maltings is to make better use of our outdoor spaces, all the more so given the impact of Covid. This is a fantastic opportunity for us as Surrey residents to apply for financial assistance to create a new public space for Farnham in the area immediately in front of the Maltings buildings.

By restoring the Maltings’ old front yard as a new public space for the town, similar to the outside spaces on London’s South Bank, we will have an accessible space within easy reach of the town centre for informal, public events. The beauty of the proposal is that this new space will be able to make use of existing amenities inside the Maltings including the café, toilet and hand washing facilities, box office and technical support and seating areas.

This multi-purpose liminal space - approximately 300m2 - would be programmed in partnership with the local community with performances, presentations, debates and participatory activities. Research suggests that post pandemic audiences are more likely to be attracted to informal, outdoor spaces as confidence rebuilds.

This space will also offer an opportunity for new audiences and participants to engage in activity without the need to enter the building – thus avoiding any ‘threshold anxiety’. We know that many people need ‘permission’ to enter cultural spaces and the Maltings yard addresses this challenge. This public space will allow us to reach new and more diverse audiences, particularly young people.

how can you help?

We have logged our idea through Your Fund Surrey. We’d like to garner support from the maltings community to share their comments and support for the application. Follow this link to the Commonplace Ideas Map. You will find a pin which registers our idea. All we’d like you to do is to show support to our project by ‘liking’ our proposal. It’s not essential to leave your comments but we encourage you to do so. The more support that we gather, the more likely our project will gain interest from the selection panel.

Let’s make it happen!

Farnham Taiko Drummers gave a brilliant performance outside the Maltings when the BBC Radio Surrey roadshow came to Farnham.

Image Credit: John Mileman