Creative writing charity Arvon has received a £236,200 grant from Arts Council England’s small scale capital funding programme to support its plans for improvements across three rural residential writers’ centres.
The work, which will be carried out over the next year, will improve access, the learning facilities and the sustainability of the charity’s properties in Devon, Shropshire and Yorkshire.
Joyce Wilson, London area director for Arts Council England, said: “We are pleased to have been able to support Arvon through our small scale capital programme. Arvon’s rural residential writer’s centres in Devon, Shropshire and Yorkshire provide an important talent development route for young writers in England and this capital improvements project will enable them to build on this further.”
At Arvon’s Shropshire centre, The Hurst, the work will build on the renovation of the main house, which is the former home of John Osborne. It will include the transformation of an old dovecote into a ‘writer’s den’ as part of the plan to create a dedicated space for writers on retreat. Eco-pods will be created for writer tutorials at Arvon’s Devon and Yorkshire centres. There will also be improved IT facilities and audio-visual equipment, and all centres will receive better facilities to enable disabled writers.
Ruth Borthwick, c.e.o of Arvon, said: “With this investment and endorsement from Arts Council England we can be even better at what we do. Coming at a time of unprecedented diminution of opportunity for disadvantaged people across the country to engage with the arts, particularly in schools, we are especially thrilled that this support will help us enhance and sustain our vision.”
Arvon attracts more than 2,000 writers to its centres each year for residential creative writing courses and retreats, including school groups, community groups and individuals.