Wells Maltings secures major funding award from The Clore Duffield Foundation

£100,000 investment in Wells-Next-the-Sea’s landmark arts and heritage centre to support new Clore Learning Space.

Wells Maltings is delighted to have been awarded £100,000 by The Clore Duffield Foundation towards a new learning and participation space within its redeveloped arts and heritage building in the heart of Wells-next-the-Sea. The development project, which transforms a derelict but significant Grade II listed building and enhances it with a new contemporary wing, aims to establish Wells Maltings as the leading arts, culture and heritage venue on the North Norfolk Coast.  The venue is scheduled to open in Spring 2018.

The Clore Duffield Foundation has funded more than 50 museum, gallery and heritage learning spaces across the UK since 2000, including national concerns such as Hampton Court Palace, Tate Britain, V&A Museum and The British Museum; and more local community based centres such as Pegasus Theatre in Oxford. The award therefore places Wells Maltings in good company. The Foundation was founded by Sir Charles Clore, a successful businessman and philanthropist, the son of immigrants to the UK in the 1950s: his daughter Dame Vivien Duffield DBE is now its chair.

At the heart of creating a Clore Learning Space is the desire to engage with the community, and to offer art and learning facilities for young people – facilities to which they would not otherwise have access.  This tallies perfectly with the vision and aims of the Wells Maltings, which aims to have a strong community focus and offer a home for participation in the arts for young people.

Of the total £5m total cost to deliver the new Maltings complex, the Clore Duffield grant takes the organisation that much closer to its goal.  Active fundraising continues, to secure the remaining funds – around £350,000 – needed to deliver the technical fit-out and equipping of the building as a centre of excellence for artistic and heritage activity. Community fund raising has helped enormously – almost £4,000 has recently been raised via raffles for a community-made quilt, and works donated by local Wells artists.  With the community at its heart, the Maltings greatly appreciates the support of the local artistic and craft community.

The Wells Maltings Trust was established in 2010 and the redevelopment of Wells Maltings entered an exciting phase this year, with the start on site of major construction work to restore, repair and develop the historic Maltings building on Staithe Street and create new community, arts, heritage and leisure spaces and tourist information centre. In addition to Clore Duffield, funding from Heritage Lottery Fund, Coastal Communities Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, North Norfolk District Council, Foyle Foundation and others has also been secured, including generous sponsorship from private donors, and public donations.

Speaking of the Clore Duffield award, newly appointed Wells Maltings general manager Simon Daykin says, “This is exceptionally good news, both for our capital development and for our future plans. With Clore Duffield’s support, we can now offer first class facilities and space for our local community to get involved and come together and explore their creativity. That’s a huge part of what the Maltings stands for. We are so very grateful for the Foundation’s support and the opportunities that it has opened up – for everyone.”