A NEW community space is opening in Andover town centre offering an innovative and ambitious creative programme for people of all ages and experience.

Chapel Arts Studios (CAS) will officially be opening the new centre at 65 High Street, the former Hays Travel unit, on Saturday, September 23.

The community arts space, named CAS Community, has been made possible through public funding from Arts Council England and will provide a creative space to residents as well as opportunities for artists and creatives.

The Mayor of Test Valley, Cllr Philip Lashbrook, will be officially opening the new premises at 12noon and a free drop-in event will take place from 11am to 3pm on Saturday, September 23. 

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Visitors will be able to take part in creative activities for all ages including, printing, drawing and weaving.

Executive director at CAS Susanne Hasselmann said: “This is the culmination of several years of planning and work towards creating an engaging and supportive venue in the heart of Andover where people can find inspiration and community through art."

Liz Hammond, creative communities programme lead at CAS, who has responsibility for the new CAS Community Programme added: "I passionately believe in the ability of creative activity to connect us to each other and ourselves. CAS Community will provide the people of Andover with the opportunity and dedicated space to engage in artistic endeavours that will bring our community together. I am so excited to launch this fantastic venue."

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The new venue will offer an innovative and ambitious creative programme for people of all ages and experience. There will be an after-school CAS Kids Art Club and Wellbeing Wednesdays that will encompass the organisation’s Social Prescribing course, along with life drawing at lunchtimes as well as workshops for older people and an artist development programme.

Borough councillor and cabinet member and portfolio holder community, leisure and tourism, Terese Swain visited the new venue and said: "It was a pleasure to visit the new premises that Chapel Arts will occupy. The hard work of staff and volunteers is what makes this charity thrive; this was clearly evident when I visited this week. They will now have the opportunity to fulfil their aspirations of supporting the local community and vulnerable groups through the art workshops and activities in their new premises. Good luck to all involved."

The new space will also link to the organisation’s gallery, St Mary’s Chapel, through its learning and engagement programme, creating a contemporary art experience.

For queries about the event contact info@chapelartsstudios.co.uk or call 01264 608115. More details can be found at chapelartsstudios.co.uk.