The new management team taking over Birch Green Community Centre are turning it into a centre for fabulous arts activities. Artz For All have taken over the facility’s day-to-day management and operation in a new partnership with West Lancashire Borough Council. The building will now be called the Artz Centre and Artz For All are running drama and dance schools at the building as well as a vocal academy for singers. They have a photographic studio and the technology to help people learn more about digital design. Exciting plans for the future include installing a recording studio, a costume department that will design and produce show costumes for hire, theatrical make-up opportunities along with a sound and lighting department. The centre will also put on a range of entertainment including live music, plays and small-scale theatre productions. Mark Ashton, who has run theatre schools in West Lancashire for a number of years through Ashton Artz, set up Artz For All to take over the Birch Green building as a not-for-profit organisation. He said: “We are really pleased that the Council has agreed for us to take over the running of the building. We organise a lot of activities in the community, but have had to use different places for our sessions. Now that we have a permanent base this makes life a lot easier for us and the waiting list for our dance classes shows that local people really want these types of activities. We already have around 120 students from the age of two to 19 attending classes each week. The Artz Centre will be a great asset for the local community.” For more information about the Artz Centre or to arrange a visit check out Artz Centre (external link) or call Mark on 07761 639155. The transfer of Birch Green Community Centre and the Council’s other community facilities to community organisations was agreed by Council in October 2012. The Council chose Artz For All to take over the management and operation of the building after carrying out a number of interviews. Councillor David Sudworth, portfolio holder for Leisure, said: “Artz For All have some really exciting plans and we are looking forward to seeing how their programmes develop in the future.” The Council still owns the building but has handed over the operation and maintenance of the building to Artz For All under a long-term lease agreement.
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