30 September 2016

Stockport charity expands its product and service offering

A charity based at our Vauxhall Industrial Estate has recently expanded its premises and services thanks to a grant from the local council.

A charity at our Vauxhall Industrial Estate in Stockport has expanded its premises and services thanks to a grant from the local council.

Arc, which stands for Arts for Recovery in the Community, helps people to manage their mental health through offering opportunities for people to explore their creativity, connect with others and learn new skills.  It also offers creative classes to the public and has its own gallery space.

After being based at the business centre for 10 years, new funding from Stockport Council has allowed the charity to extend its workspace and refurbish its facilities. 

In addition to its gallery and studio, Arc has taken on two smaller studio units and installed kilns for ceramics classes.

“We are hoping to get a resident ceramicist, so people can speak to her and learn about ceramics and we can run workshops using the potter’s wheel and kilns,” Marketing Officer Lucie Fiztpatrick says.

Increase in services

The charity already runs public workshops for young people, but the additional space has meant this can be extended for adults too.

Refurbishments have been undertaken in the studio, where new toilets have been installed with a cloakroom and storage space, the wooden floor has been sanded, windows have been fixed and all walls repainted.

Lucie says the improvements have made the space brighter and more inviting.

“It’s more welcoming and comfortable now when people come in,” she says.

“We’ve also been able to offer more people the chance to attend our wellbeing programmes and the public can come along more often.”

The gallery has also benefited from a new cash desk and wrapping area, and a seating area with leather sofas, tables and chairs worth £9,000 donated by Halo furniture

Relax with refreshments

The seating space means visitors can relax and stay longer and also can enjoy refreshments such as drinks and cakes.

“People can bring their lunch and relax in the gallery, which is great, especially if people have travelled a long way,” Lucie explains. 

“It also gives us more opportunity to chat with people and talk to them about the courses, or volunteering opportunities.

“During the 10 years we have been here, the space has changed but we have never extended before, so it’s great to be able to make use of the extra rooms.”

Arc’s workspace also includes a kitchen area and offices.  Lucie says the site’s close proximity to Stockport and Manchester, its transport links and car parking facilities make it an excellent location for the charity.

The team of six staff and almost 50 volunteers are now starting preparations for the art bazaar on the last Saturday in November – the charity’s largest fundraising event of the year.

Arc is always looking for new volunteers.  If you are interested in helping the charity or would like to know more about programmes, contact [email protected].

Workspace for rent in Stockport

Vauxhall Industrial Estate is situated in the Reddish area of Stockport and his housed in an impressive redbrick building, offering workshops, light industrial units, offices, studio space and storage units.

For more information contact Business Centre Manager, Gemma Gilliland, on 0161 491 4646.