TSF Goods Shed project wins HLF support

Our plans to convert the grade II listed Goods Shed at Hexham railway station into a new base for TSF have taken a step forward towards becoming a reality.

Press Release 27 March 2014

Hexham-based award-winning international touring theatre company Théâtre Sans Frontières (TSF) has received initial support* from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its Goods Shed project, it was announced today. The project will enable TSF to place its administration, rehearsal, production and storage space under one roof, as well as provide the local community with access to the building’s large heritage space through a range of activities and interpretation facilities. Development funding of £15,000 has been awarded to help TSF to progress its plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.

The Grade II listed Goods Shed dates back to the late 1830s and was constructed for the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway. The site includes the former Water Tower, also Grade II listed, built in the 1850s. There is presently no public access to these historically important buildings, but the development of the site as a new home for TSF will enable the conservation and opening up of a part of Hexham’s heritage to the public and the provision of community facilities. TSF is working with architects _space and conservation specialists PPIY Ltd, as well as with railway and architectural historian Dr Bill Fawcett and heritage consultant Jane Brantom on development plans. These include a feasibility study involving a period of consultation with the Hexham community to identify potential users and partners in plans to maximise access to and interpretation of the heritage space. Hexham Community Partnership has agreed to work with TSF on this important development stage.

Brian Debnam, Chair of Théâtre Sans Frontières’ board of trustees said: “The fantastic assistance received from the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable us to conduct a thorough development plan and feasibility study for the conversion of the Goods Shed which will potentially provide a facility for Théâtre Sans Frontières to prepare its world class theatre and education work. The project also provides a great opportunity for the community to have access to a new space in Hexham for arts, culture, heritage, leisure, commercial and conferencing activity. We are delighted to welcome Hexham Community Partnership as a partner in the development phase of the project. We are also grateful to Network Rail and the Railway Heritage Trust for their continued support in this project.”

Ivor Crowther, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said: “We’re delighted to be giving our initial support to these exciting plans that will not only restore the historic Goods Shed but also open it up to the public as a multifunctional community space. We are looking forward to seeing these plans progress over the coming months.” 

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*A first-round/initial support pass means the project meets HLF criteria for funding and HLF believes the project has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so a first-round pass is an endorsement of outline proposals. Having been awarded a first-round pass, the project now has up to two years to submit fully developed proposals to compete for a firm award.

On occasion, an applicant with a first-round pass will also be awarded development funding towards the development of their scheme.