Viva Arts and Community Group, Soham, Cambridgeshire has received funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund to convert a derelict Edwardian Mill in Soham into a vibrant community space.
The project is one of six to have been awarded a share of £5.1m in the Midlands and East of England with projects which drive diversity, inclusion and wellbeing in local areas.
Viva has received £608,200 for Spencer’s Mill which will be converted to a community theatre space with a café and venue hire, with a vibrant cultural programme for the people of Soham. The project will deliver £4m economic impact across the Cambridgeshire economy, as well as creating a number of employment and training opportunities. Spencer’s Mill is of significant heritage importance – it is the only remaining mill left in Soham which once had a thriving milling industry.
Having already secured match funding from East Cambridgeshire District Council the redevelopment of the Edwardian Mill can now commence, with the thanks to National Lottery players money. Councillor Anna Bailey, leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “East Cambs District Council is excited to support this brilliant endeavour for a new community and arts facility in Soham. There are so many good things happening in Soham recently and such a great sense of community. This gem of a building is going to provide a fantastic new community facility for Soham and beyond and I congratulate all at Viva for running such a great campaign to bring it to reality.”
Viva’s founder and Soham District Councillor Daniel Schumann says “This is truly amazing news and will enable us to turn this dream into a reality for Viva, Soham and East Cambridgeshire. Without doubt Viva’s roots are firmly planted in the community where it continues to flourish. The facility will be used by young and old with a wide range of activities on offer. It will also host school holiday activity clubs, parties and celebrations, film nights, quiz nights and regular whole community social events.”
Press release from Viva Arts and Community Group