Blandford is the only market town in Dorset that does not have its own dedicated Arts Centre. Detailed planning approval has been obtained (2018) after many years of hard work. The concept scheme began as a bold contemporary building back in 2010 and has been developed, refined and scaled down to a more traditional scheme to respond the complex planning requirements of this sensitive Burgage location and historic setting.
A local Charitable Trust which owns Blandford Museum and the Victorian Garden has generously given land to be used for the new Arts Centre. Due to the project being completely funded through charities and grants, the brief required that part of the building had to be constructed out of natural and sustainable resources. The has resulted in the building using a unique construction method with a mix of straw bale walls within a theatrical rigging structure.
The new community venue will include a multifunctional theatre space that can accommodate 180 seats of which 80 are removable, box office and a public cafe/bar with external seating.
Fundraising is underway on this project to fund the construction and running of the new arts centre which will be known as The Fording Point.