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Central Building Feasibility Steering Group members

In January 2015 six organisations submitted expressions of interest in the future of the Central building to Reading Voluntary Action. Five of the six submissions were for an arts and culture centre.

The six organisations are joined by representatives from ACCG, The Cultural Partnership, Reading Borough Council's Policy Committee and Reading Voluntary Action to make up the new Central Building Feasibility Steering Group.

CultureMix
Artistic director Mary Genis submitted an expression of interest for the building to become an arts centre hub of cultural and creative activity for the whole community. Mary is a trustee of Carnival Village Trust, an Arts Council England national portfolio organisation with two West London venues. More about CultureMix

Readipop
Readipop is a music and arts charity that organises Caversham Festival. Creative director Gavin Lombos submitted an expression of interest that proposes a landmark independent arts centre with a focus on music and performing arts. Readipop web site

The Reading Arts and Culture Centre (TRACC)
A new organisation set up by East Reading Festival organiser Matt Foster, previously a music course leader at Reading College. TRACC's expression of interest proposes an environmentally sustainable arts and culture centre.
East Reading Festival web site.

Reading Sustainability Centre
Led by Tony Cowling The Reading Sustainability Centre is a community interest company proposing to build a new community centre to be used by community groups and to be a sustainability centre. RSC web site

Reading Community Culture Group (RCCG)
RCCG promotes acceptance and understanding of our multicultural society. Representatives Ayshea Newsam and Kester Charles propose an arts space with retail and business. RCCG web site.

Hogarth Productions
Director Ed Harcourt who runs the Whitley Arts Festival proposes a contemporary art space offering theatre, film, recording studios and classes complementary to the Rising Sun, South Street Arts Centre and Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC). Whitley Arts Festival facebook page

African Caribbean Community Association (ACCG)
Chaired by Errol Masters Reading African Caribbean Community Association known as ACCG was set up in 2008 to reclaim the Central building. It is a charitable organisation that aims to increase the capacity of African and Caribbean groups in Reading to develop and deliver services. ACCG web site

One of the conditions of Reading Borough Council's Policy Committee decision to agree RVA's recommendation required the inclusion, on the steering group, of two Councillors and one representative from Reading's Cultural Partnership.

Click here to read the full Policy Committee report.

RBC Policy Committee
Councillor Tony Page is the deputy leader of the Council & lead Councillor for strategic environment, planning and transport. He has maintained an interest in the Central building since it closed in late 2005. More on Cllr Tony Page
Councillor Sophia James joined the steering group to represent and champion African Caribbean culture. She is on the neighbourhood and leisure committee of RBC's Policy Committee. More on Cllr Sophia James.

The Cultural Partnership
Richard Stainthorp, a retired teacher and former Councillor, is the representative for art on The Cultural Partnership board.
The Cultural Partnership was established in 2010 as a strategic delivery network for culture, leisure and sport, with stakeholders from across sectors to support the delivery of the Cultural Strategy for Reading. Reading Cultural Partnership web site

Reading Voluntary Action
Rachel Spencer is the chief executive of RVA who carried out the Central building review. Rachel has a key role as facilitator and interim chair of the Central Building Feasibility Steering Group with an interest in ensuring the Central building maintains it's historical and cultural connections with the African Caribbean community.
RVA provides information and resources to it's membership of 800 voluntary and community organisations. RVA web site

These are the members of the Central Building Feasibility Steering Group who will set out a shared vision for a landmark centre of excellence for art and music that engages and reflects the local community, and places Reading firmly on the national cultural map.

Press and media - 'Central Club' building.

About Central Club Steering Group

The iconic Central Club mural in Reading Berkshire UK

The iconic Central Club mural in Reading Berkshire UK

"The Central Building Feasibility Steering Group will set out a shared vision for a centre of excellence for art and music that engages and reflects the local community and places Reading firmly on the national cultural map."

The Central Building Feasibility Steering Group

2015 Reading Berkshire

Join the Forum and Have Your Say

Do you have a view about the future of the Central building?

Have your say at the next open Forum meeting:

Date to be announced
Reading Central Library
3rd Floor

Visit to Carnival Village

Nicholas Walker, Mary Genis and Errol Masters visit The Tabernacle and Yaa Centre Carnival Village London

Mary Genis and Nicholas Walker from CultureMix, and Errol Masters, chair of the African Caribbean Community Association, visit The Tabernacle and The Yaa Centre to see examples of cultural arts centres with wide appeal.

Both venues are part of the Carnival Village Trust of which Mary is a trustee. They met with CVT director Tara Hobson and Tabernacle venue manager Matthew Phillip.