The Whitley Pump attended the grand re-opening of South Street Arts Centre last week. The refurbishment is an amazing upgrade to the accommodation and facilities, and loses none of the character of the building.
The evening was a chance for the South Street Arts Centre team to show off what they had achieved.
The work had only just finished in time before the Friday night event and the area director for south east Arts Council, Hedley Swain, said that he could smell how their money had been spent. Reading Borough Council (RBC) lead for culture & sport, councillor Paul Gittings, congratulated the team and urged people to sign up for the membership scheme.
John Luther, South Street Arts co-ordinator, thanked everyone and introduced a short programme of performances which left no one in doubt about the first class entertainment this venue presents and inspires. The performers were warmly received and audience participation was enthusiastic.
The Arts Council granted £500 thousand to the refurbishment project and RBC gave a further £300 thousand. The arts centre had been threatened with closure as part of RBC’s budget saving measures, but a petition and local opposition to the closure led to a new solution being found.