Finding creativity in the heart of Newbiggin

A new community arts centre has opened in the centre of Newbiggin after support from Advance Northumberland.

By David Sedgwick
Friday, 3rd September 2021, 7:00 am
Newbiggin Arts Centre in Front Street.
Newbiggin Arts Centre in Front Street.

The Newbiggin Arts Centre (NAC), formally known as the “Little Gem Arts Gallery” located on Gibson Street, has recently undergone a transformation that has included a refurbishment of the centre and the development of its new studio on Front Street.

Both locations offer a mix of classes and clubs, venues for displaying and selling local artists’ painting, along with a shop for art materials.

The Front Street location offers watercolour, acrylic, and drawing classes and clubs, for the novice as well as the experienced while the Gibson Street venue has water-based oil painting classes and clubs and weekly craft club.

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Steve Wilkinson, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Newbiggin Arts Centre, said: “Recreation facilities are always needed in a community.

"But in this post-covid era they have become critically important to help the members of the community re-integrate and start socialising again.

“A large proportion of our community have been in virtual isolation for the past eighteen months.

"The classes and clubs which we run at our studios will play a major part in promoting mental and physical wellbeing of the most vulnerable members of our community.

“Whereas we are currently planning to consolidate our offerings in painting and craftwork, our long term ambition is also to make available – alongside other providers such as the Newbiggin Hub – facilities and resources for all the Arts; performance arts, poetry and music, dance, etc. as well as the many other forms of visual arts.”

Stephen Chappelhow, Commercial Property Surveyor at Advance Northumberland, said: “It has been immensely gratifying on the part of Advance Commercial to work closely with such a committed, prominent and community focused local organisation which promises to deliver much needed services into the heart of the Newbiggin Town Centre for years to come.

“We have been able to work closely with Newbiggin Art Centre over a number of months to secure a lease of the premises during what has been an extremely challenging period for both landlords and tenants in view of Covid virus and related restrictions.”

For more information on Newbiggin Arts Centre visit www.newbigginartscentre.org or call 01670 708 269.