Political consensus for the renovation of Sherborne House is a step closer after Sherborne House Arts Trust (SH Trust), presented their vision to an invitation-only gathering on January 23rd.
Among the audience at the Gryphon School, Sherborne, were the Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset, Angus Campbell, Leader of Dorset Council, Cllr Robert Gould, Leader of West Dorset District Council, Cllr Tony Alford, Mayor of Sherborne, Jon Andrews and councillors from both the Town and District Councils.
James Hedin, Chairman of SH Trust, said: “The large turnout shows just how popular the project is within the local community and further afield. The feedback on the vision has been excellent and we now have clear commitment from the political leaders to look at all the options to make this happen.”
The event included a presentation from Deanne Tremlett, curator and artist, who outlined the plans to use space at the House for a commercial art gallery and sculpture garden, to support arts education for both young and old and artists both locally and from further afield. This includes a five-year programme of exhibitions supported by the Estate of Elisabeth Frink.
Local businessman Jeremy Le Sueur, set out the business case, explaining how the project was commercially viable, would create jobs and attract more tourists and passing trade for the town.
Trustee Chris Shaw gave a rousing speech, urging the community to come together to support the project. He argued that Sherborne House as a venue for visual arts will complement the Digby Hall as a venue for the performing arts.
Guests were able to get a taste of what the proposed cookery school might offer, with canapés provided by celebrity chef Leslie Waters.
More details about the vision for the House can be found on the website here.