The future is looking bright for Bodmin’s Old Library
intoBodmin has always been a small organisation with big ambitions – and as these ambitions begin to grow into reality, we want to make sure that our community and our supporters are all in the loop, and taking this journey with us together. Through this blog, we’ll keep you updated with our progress on The Old Library and our other projects as we go along.
Firstly - Great news! Cornwall Council have granted us a Temporary Use License, while we get the final bits agreed on the lease, we can get into the building and start painting the walls. We’ve had a fantastic amount of support from the community already, lots of you have been in touch to offer your skills and help to get the Old Library ready for the events planned in the Autumn - thank you! Don’t miss the Old Library Volunteers open event this coming Wednesday, 12th September between 4pm and 6pm. It’s an informal event, just pop in, have a look around The Old Library building and let us know how you can help.
We are also launching The Next Chapter fundraising campaign, which you can read about here. While we’ve been successful in getting grant funding from Arts Council and Cornwall Council for some of our exciting projects, it doesn’t include money for furniture, legal fees, planning applications and all the hidden costs that are cropping up. We think that The Old Library should be open for the community; it was built for the people of Bodmin, and we think it should stay that way, so one of our long-term plans is to buy the building, and make sure that Bodmin’s community will always be welcome inside the Old Library. The Grade II listed building will be at the heart of everything we want to do, and interest in the Next Chapter campaign is looking promising, but we still need to get the word out there. Read more here and get in touch if you’d like to help.
More great news - we’re delighted to welcome a new member of the intoBodmin team: Sophie Hodge joins Director Fin Irwin as Marketing & Outreach Manager. She’ll be making sure you’re kept up to date with the latest at intoBodmin and The Old Library, as well as our other Bodmin events and projects. Sophie started with intoBodmin last year, as a volunteer helping at the St Petroc’s Sessions events (Don’t miss the Cuban Brothers!), and she also works part time with the Bodmin & Wenford railway. Sophie’s passionate about Bodmin and says, “I’m thrilled to be on board with such a fantastic project, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and meeting the community of volunteers and helpers who are getting involved and making this project happen.” She has really hit the ground running this week with the promotion of our events, as well as organising the volunteer team to help get the Old Library up and running.
So, what is The Old Library going to be?
We’re opening the Old Library as a community arts centre, tapas café, events venue and cultural hub; essentially The Old Library is going to be a place where everyone is welcome. We’ll have all kinds of things happening, you can simply come and have lunch or a cup of tea, you can book it as a venue, you can come to an event, drop in to a workshop, or visit one of the services which will be based in the building.
Events might be anything from live music and theatre to workshops and craft sessions. There is a programme of events already booked, starting with some taster sessions which will happen before the official opening of the venue. The first of these will be our Fun Palaces event on the 6th October, which is a free event which is taking place in venues all across Bodmin – you can find out more about our events here, or on our Facebook page, here.
There’s more information on The Old Library page, here – but in brief:
- The ground floor will be a tapas cafe offering locally produced food and drinks, a small stage for live music, cabaret, comedy, spoken word, talks, theatre and dance, and a hireable room for workshops, classes, meetings, exhibitions.
- The first floor will be a vibrant and creative community of learning and enterprise. The five rooms will be occupied by Mind, a yoga studio and co-working space with up to 10 hot desks for hire – six of these are being sponsored by Falmouth University for graduates of the FdA in Digital Media at Bodmin College.
If you’re interested in helping make this project happen, you can donate through the Next Chapter campaign, sponsor us or learn more about volunteering at our event on Wednesday the 12th September between 4pm and 6pm at the Old Library, where you’ll be able to meet some of the team behind it all, hear about our plans, register your interest, and help us get the ball rolling! We’ll ask you to give us an idea of your skills and tell us how you think you can help, and don’t forget to leave your contact details with us, so we can stay in touch.
There’s still a long way to go, but with your help, we’re on target to open the Old Library this Autumn/Winter, and we can’t wait to get started!