After many years of planning, development, fundraising and community input, the former Maltings building on Staithe Street has been transformed and the brand new £5m Wells Maltings arts, heritage and community centre has opened its doors!
This prestigious project, supported by Heritage Lottery Fund, Coastal Communities Fund, North Norfolk District Council, The International Fund for Arts and Culture, Business Rates Pool Fund, Clore Duffield Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Foyle Foundation, FLAG fund and many others, plus generous private donors, began in earnest in 2016. The main work was completed in May 2018, and the new complex opened its doors for its initial preview season in July. We then used the following few months to feature a select few activities to help us test the new building and its facilities, and were proud to host our formal launch and opening in mid-September.
Well Maltings is a striking brick and flint building within the heart of Wells-next-the-Sea which was built in the mid-19th century. In the late 16th century, Wells was the major port for the area and by the first half of the 18th century the town become a major exporter of malt. In 1890 the town had nine large malthouses, employing over 50 people.
The town is now a seaside resort with a small working port, and the building is one of the last remaining malthouses in Wells.
Until 2016 the Maltings hosted a huge range of community events from team meetings, dance classes, birthday parties, craft fairs and wedding receptions, as well as offering spaces for community activities such as Poetry-next-the-Sea.
Upon securing support from Heritage Lottery Fund and a range of partnership funders and generous individuals, the Maltings closed for refurbishment. The new Wells Maltings building has been augmented hugely by a brand new extension, with the internal spaces refitted and developed to create a modern day cultural and heritage hub.
Wells Maltings is now fully open and comprises a fascinating Heritage Centre with four galleries, a state-of-the-art theatre/cinema, Visitor Information Centre, attractive, contemporary café/bar, a number of galleries and community spaces and a small retail area. Wells Maltings is also involved in a number of activities with the local schools and elsewhere in the local community.
The result of many years of hard work is the creation of this dynamic hub of arts and heritage activity which is here for the whole community; we look forward to welcoming you to Wells Maltings soon!
Visitor Information Centre & Box Office: 01328 839000