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New arts centre and studios for Coda Music Trust after £340,000 grant

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WALKFORD-based Coda Music Trust has received a £340,000 grant which will be spent on a new cultural activity hub to include a gallery, workshops and seven artists’ studios.

The cash from Arts Council England will go towards transforming farm buildings on Chewton Farm Road, Walkford, into an “inspirational” facility for artists and visitors alike.

The buildings were bought in 2005, and the trust, which offers music tuition for all ages and abilities, has been striving to convert them ever since.

An artist's impression of the plans
An artist's impression of the plans

Among other projects, the cash will go towards soundproofing the internal and external spaces and upgrading and landscaping the car park and driveway to improve accessibility.

The trust is transforming a disused stable block, barn and cow sheds into workshops, a gallery, exhibition space and studios.

Phil Hallett, Coda Music Trust CEO, said: “We are so excited and delighted to be working with Arts Council England on this ambitious capital development project.

“As we celebrate Coda’s 25th anniversary, their investment, alongside other key supporters including Talbot Village Trust and New Forest District Council, will enhance and increase our facilities to offer accessible, sustainable and inspirational spaces for our local community for decades to come.”

Trust directors say the project hopes to be an “inclusive and accessible centre for cultural and creative activity, enabling Coda to diversify its services and build engagement with the local community”.

Darren Henley, chief executive at Arts Council England, said: “World class creativity and culture needs a resilient and sustainable infrastructure to allow it to flourish.

The trust is transforming a disused stable block, barn and cow sheds
The trust is transforming a disused stable block, barn and cow sheds

“With these investments in the buildings, equipment, and digital systems of cultural organisations across England, we are helping to secure the future of that infrastructure, and making sure that people from every part of the country can continue enjoying all the benefits it delivers for years to come.”

Set up in 1996, Coda is a music organisation with a mission to “facilitate and champion music making for all”.

It provides high-quality music programmes, workshops, projects, creative music therapy and music tuition, offering classes in piano, strings, woodwind, guitars, drums and vocals; with students ranging from babies to pensioners.

Coda prides itself on reaching the most vulnerable people in the community – those with profound disabilities, at the end of their life and plagued by ill health.

For more information visit www.coda.org.uk

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