To bring a derelict building in a lovely Mid-Wales town back to life as an exciting venue for live music of all genres and the Arts.
About the project
In Rhayader - the heart of Wales (look at the map)- we are in the process of:
Regenerating a derelict building which is still much loved by locals
Creating a vibrant centre for music, theatre and art
Creating job opportunities in The Arts and hospitality
Creating a great little cafe providing locally-sourced good food, live music and a warm welcome
Making the development green.
You know the conversation that you have over a glass of wine; ‘This would be a great space for gigs…’ Well, somehow Paul managed to keep that conversation going over breakfast, lunch and tea, the rest of the family joined in, we made a few, still rather tentative enquiries, did a bit of basic maths and now we own this amazing building and are a significant way into our regeneration plans!
Our new look - still some windows and doors to be sorted - but we're getting there...
The Old Drill Hall (now The Lost ARC) has been an integral part of Rhayader and its community for a couple of hundred years, albeit under different names and with different functions. The wine-fuelled conversation turned into proper plans which just grew, so, here we are now, asking for your support to complete the final stages of bringing the formerly derelict building back to life.
The full plans are to return the main hall to one of its former uses as a music venue and cinema.
We are creating a fabulous space with the capacity for around 200 people. There will be a bar and gallery at one end; two practice rooms along one side, which, if we can meet our funding targets,will double as recording studios; and a stage at the other end for music and productions of all genres.
It is our aim to promote the development of local musical talent, establish a reputation as an exciting music venue which will bring in more visitors and ultimately benefit the town as a whole. We will also regularly be screening films to give Rhayader a cinema again after so many years of absence. We have met many locals who have such fond memories of The Castle Cinema that we have to try to re-introduce film for this and future generations! But we won't be making the projectionist sit outside....
This was the projectionist's 'box'! It's just below the kitchen window of a new flat now.
So, if like us, you are really excited at the prospect of a live music venue returning to this fab town, be prepared to get even more excited by the prospect of it being a green venture! 'Groundsun' (a green energy company) have agreed to support us in this by fitting a water source heat exchange pump which will mean that this amazing granite building will be warm - it has never been that before – well not without massive carbon emissions.
The Lost ARC - Arts Roots Café- (you’ve all heard of Raiders of the Lost Ark, this is the lost arc of Rhayader: it made us laugh, but we can only apologise to those of you who have a more sophisticated sense of humour and are now holding your heads) – is all about art, music and good food. We will be serving locally sourced, seasonal and home cooked good food. The menu will be fairly simple, but anyone who knows our family knows that we eat well. There will always be plenty of options for vegetarians, vegans and those with specific dietary requirements will be catered for without it being a big deal.
Children will be not just welcome but positively encouraged as we are intending to offer art and music activities for them and their parents.
Oh, and did we mention the pizza oven? Wood fired! Film nights will marry and live happily ever after with Pizza nights.
Music, being at the heart of this enterprise, will feature in the café too: there will be a small stage in the café and there will be live music happening at some point every day and special acoustic evenings with great performers and great food!
The new entrance on its way...
We want to employ local people in all aspects of the business and are hoping to give real opportunities to young people in the area to get them started in the music and hospitality industry.
To sum up, this project will:
- Have saved a unique and interesting building
- Be carbon neutral or even in carbon credit
It has the potential to:
- Be an all-weather entertainment venue for tourist and locals in the heart of Wales throughout the year
- Employ local people in a variety of occupations and offer training opportunities
- Give a platform to new and established performers
- Bring trade to a beautiful and relatively undiscovered part of the world
- Showcase local artists' work
And in addition it should keep Paul busy and off the streets for the foreseeable future! You'll see how when you look at the rewards... (903 and counting...)
It was very exctiting to see and hear a musical theatre workshop happening - thanks Ross -a real taste of things to come!
Our 'open weekend' gave a real flavour of what it could be like in the hall space.
Clearly, our target of £100,000 is a big, big ask - but we wanted to be honest about the amount that we need to get the project up and running. Whatever we raise by Nov 13th will be helping the project on its way: there's a floor to lay; some walls to insulate; a stage to erect; studios to build ... and your pledge is helping one of those things to happen! THANK YOU!