The aim of the project was to save the historic Market Hall, the main community asset in Frome. The building known as the ‘Cheese & Grain’ is the largest public building in the town centre, with a flat floor music venue for 850 capacity that also houses regular markets, fairs and community activities. The building was run down. The Cheese & Grain CIC running the building was dependent on an annual grant from Frome Town Council that was withdrawn. The main aim of the project was to secure the building and put the organisation on a sound financial footing by offering an enhanced and diverse range of community services and benefits:??•Create an 8 till late, 7 day a week destination for the community to gather?
•Improve the accessibility and appearance of the building and its relationship with the town car park setting.?•Establish visual and physical links with the town centre.?•Improve accessibility and quality of wcs and other facilities for all users. ?•Expand services in response to local needs.
?•Promote sustainability using locally sourced materials and skills in the build ?•Improve economic resilience by supporting local start-up businesses and traders.
•The project has secured the Cheese & Grain building for the long term, repairing and restoring the fabric and putting the organisation on a sound financial footing in line with its Business Plan, recently awarded the Santander ‘Social Enterprise of the Year Award’.?The project has brought together many individuals and community groups. For example The Frome Community Energy Co. FRECo, is now based in the building using new ‘hot desk’ workstations and a regularly staffed help desk in the Cafe promoting domestic energy reduction.
?•New multi-use meeting rooms attract diverse users, from Community Education to Burlesque Dance classes. ?
•Facilities for the venue’s performers have been dramatically enhanced.?
•The building and landscaping has transformed a mundane car park into a public square hosting outdoor events including an annual ‘food feast’ of local independent food retailers.
?•Inappropriate external render and blocked openings have been removed revealing, warts and all, the authentic 1870s Market Hall with clear views to and from the town centre and between building spaces. 21st Century enhancements give the building a very contemporary appearance.?
•The building is now highly accessible on two levels and is a hub for all, including wheelchair users and parents with buggies and toddlers.
The building won Gold at the 2014national Green Apple environmental Awards.