Arts Centre project will cost £545,000

Town clerk Richard Wood (left) and Arts Centre assistant manager James Duffy and manager Janet Farmer on the first floor.
Town clerk Richard Wood (left) and Arts Centre assistant manager James Duffy and manager Janet Farmer on the first floor.

A major project to refurbish the first floor of Pocklington Arts Centre is now expected to cost more than £540,000.

The work will start on Monday (23 November) and run until March 2016. The project was expected to cost in the region of £475,000 but is now estimated to cost £545,000.

It is being funded via a £354,000 grant from Arts Council England in addition to funding from Pocklington Town Council, Pocklington Arts Centre and the Friends of Pocklington Arts Centre.

The work will see the front three rooms above the venue’s canopy brought into use and linked to the main body of the building for the first time ever.

The suite of rooms will include a new cafe/bar area, workshop space and a meeting/conference room with cinema projection equipment. The main body of the building will be reconfigured with improved front/foyer access and improved and increased office space for the venue’s staff. The work on the Grade II listed building will also resolve long standing issues with two problematic flat roofs located at the rear of the venue.

Town clerk Richard Wood added: “When work went out to tender £545,000 was the lowest price bid. £475,000 was the architects estimate, that was done several months ago but things have changed in the building industry. The price of materials have suddenly increased.

“We are funding this by taking more out of the [town council] reserves.”

He added: “We are soon to deliberate on the council tax precept but we haven’t got this information at present. We don’t expect a need for a great increase.”

An additional grant of £32,800 from WREN will be used to refurbish the venue’s studio space once the work to the first floor has been completed. WREN is a not-for-profit business that helps benefit the lives of people who live close to landfill sites by awarding grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects. Whilst the building work is taking place, the venue will have a limited live event and cinema programme. Full listings of the Arts Centre’s forthcoming events can be found on their website www.pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk

The aim of the project is to increase the venue’s long-term sustainability and the overall customer experience.

Hobson and Porter, based in Hull, were appointed to undertake the building work after a tender process which involved six other companies from around the region. Mason Clarke Associates, who have a ten year working relationship with Pocklington Town Council, handled all of the tenders and are the project managers for the 
work.