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Funding Boost For Community Studio

Julie Briggs Published: 01 May 2024

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colourful tables in studio space with high timber framed ceilings
The newly refurbished studio space upstairs.

Entertainment and events for Wymondham and surrounding areas have been given a welcome boost thanks to funding for That Little Norfolk Shop & Studio to deliver even more activities from its stylish new venue.

Since its opening in December last year, the Studio in the former Wymondham Abbey Schoolroom, run by ClearCompany CIC, has hosted thriving monthly open mic sessions, chilled-out Slowdown Sundays, art exhibitions, private parties, and local groups including IloveUke and the Birth Preparation Company’s antenatal course.

Having received an £8,800 injection from the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, ClearCompany is able to make improvements to host a wider range of creative events tailored to the community. The grant was awarded through the South Norfolk Council Pride in Place programme.

Julie Briggs, ClearCompany Director, said: “We are incredibly grateful for our award of Government Levelling Up funding to help us promote creative arts and inclusive community activities in a welcoming, friendly studio space. Funding from our local councillors and sponsors kick-started our venture but we still have work to do to make adaptations that meet the needs of our groups.

“This funding has enabled us to fit out the ground floor flexibly to be a shop offering local produce, art and crafts during the day, with the option of securing it in the evenings for groups who need ground floor space. Seeing the community enjoy the venue is so heart-warming. We’ve had the most incredible feedback. We cannot thank our sponsors, funders, and South Norfolk District Councillors enough for their support.”

Starting on May 4th, That Little Norfolk Studio will host a monthly Games Café where the venue will be open to all to play boardgames, Dungeons & Dragons, chess, cards, and trial game ideas.

Empty studio with old carpet and furniture
Upstairs space prior to refurbishment.

Sound Café sessions on the third Saturday of every month attract musicians and poets of all ages and genres from around the area throughout the day into late evening.

Slowdown Sundays provide a range of activities, from yoga and mindfulness, to crafts and creative writing, where visitors can relax and unwind.

Other forthcoming events include murder mystery days starting on May 19th with “Slice of Life” by Yellow Mysteries Entertainment, a bingo evening on May 29th, cocktail making sessions on the last Friday of every month, live music from acoustic alternative folk duo The Winterlong with Tom Mally on July 19th, and a comedy evening with Shaft of Wit and headline act Noel James on July 13th.

The social enterprise team has put in months of work preparing the former Abbey Schoolroom building, with donated materials and labour from businesses including Quickstep, B&Q, Dulux, and local designer and decorator Andrew Crichton of Design & Decorate. The upper studio floor offers stunning views of the Abbey and is equipped for live music, dining, workshops, and relaxing wellbeing projects, while the lower floor is adapted to be a shop during the day that can accommodate events in the evenings.

The new venue is the latest phase in ClearCompany’s development, seeing the social enterprise grow from pop-up events during the Covid pandemic, to putting down roots in Wymondham with a community venue that harnesses its network of creatives and entrepreneurs.

For further details of events, activities, and private hire, visit clearcompany.org.uk/tlns.

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