The CREATE Centre. Where we CONNECT
The CREATE Centre, where we CONNECT opened 8th September 2019!
An accessible, adaptable community arts organisation for everyone, based in the heart of Cheshire / Manchester – on great transport routes and with lots of side-street parking. Activities, groups and events offered by the Tameside Arts team and independent artists and facilitators.
We offer groups and activities for everyone. Some are for the general public and others are specifically for children and adults with support needs. This includes people with a Learning Disability, Physical Disability, people with Aspergers, people on the Autistic Spectrum, and older people.
The centre boasts
- a drama/dance/music space with a PA system, lighting, sound, a cinema screen, instruments, costumes, props and a mirrored wall
- a sensory suite with interactive lighting and stimulating visual and textured resources
- an art zone, including 2D and 3D art and craft resources
- a community café and arts supplies shop providing refreshments whilst offering adaptable training, volunteer and workplace opportunities
The background to our organisation
Tameside Arts Ltd was founded in 2005 and is a not for profit, user-led social enterprise. We began with a small grant to establish the company and then were successful in securing Learning Disability Development Funding to establish The Chatterbox Theatre Company, for adults with a Learning Disability which continues to this day. We then secured funding to establish Stage Stars Drama and dance group which also continues today. We were commissioned to devise and perform issue-based plays for Learning Disability Open-events and performed regularly for the general public, schools, colleges and day services. We set up a weekly disco which continues to this day. We slowly built a small team, and then 6 years ago, we were approached by Tameside Council and offered the opportunity to deliver day service provision. We began with 32 clients weekly. This has grown to over 90 clients weekly, and including the drama, dance and disco groups – we work with over 200 children and adults weekly.
Along the way we were successful in securing other funding for particular projects, such as single Parents, Mental health, youth, statemented children therapeutic sessions and lots more.
What we do and why
For the past 14 years we have run the organisation out of shared spaces which are great in theory, but in practice mean lots of time spent each day getting everything out, then putting away at the end of each day. We haven’t been able to decorate and put our stamp on our space, or, due to logistics and storage issues, use all of the wonderful resources we have (sensory items, drum-kit, piano, UV lighting, craft materials, costumes, make-up and body-paint to name a few) to their full potential, and we want to be able to share these with the community as we have always believed that everything we own belongs to our Members and the community and should be available to everyone.
We are so excited to have taken on a 5 to 10-year rental lease for our very own Community Arts venue for the general public whilst maintaining and developing our established specialism in service provision for children, adults and older people with a wide range of support needs.
This means we can expand and develop our services, events, groups, performances and activities from a secure, adapted, accessible community hub for everyone.
We are currently open Monday to Friday daytime, and Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. We will be open 7 days and evenings offering a wide range of opportunities for the community.
Tameside Arts Ltd is a Social Enterprise not-for-profit company that is limited by guarantee. This structure allows us to work in a flexible way, we take our responsibility to the Tameside community very seriously and are clear to ensure that our outcomes in any project are for the benefit of the project, the individuals involved and the wider community. We are completely inclusive and encourage people from the whole community to be involved.
Tameside Arts Ltd has a Board of nine members (the majority have a learning disability) who meet every month and are responsible for the strategic direction and policy of the organisation. Our committee have varied interests and professional backgrounds relevant to the work of Tameside Arts Ltd, the Project Manager and Directors of the Company also attend these meetings.
A scheme of delegation is in place and day to day responsibility for the provision of the services rest with the Directors in conjunction with the Project Manager, they are responsible for ensuring that the organisation delivers the services specified to an exceptional standard and that key performance indicators are met.