Hadleigh's Old Fire Station To Become Studio Space For Local Artists

Hadleigh Old Fire Station 1_0

Hadleigh’s Old Fire Station renovation is soon to be revealed to the public. Inside Hadleigh’s distinctive Old Fire Station is a sizeable, three-floored property, housing artists’ studio space.  Local Artist, Sue Willis, is one of the chosen artists to work in one of the studios. Sue is a budding artist, due to begin her 3rd and final year of her Fine Arts Degree at South Essex College of Further and Higher Education this September. She has been chosen alongside four of her fellow peers; Alison Ansary, Donna Jeffrey, Stan Edwards and Lorna Stennett. The group will share studio 20 of the Old Fire Station.

Hadleigh Old Fire station (HOFS) is to play a vital part in celebrating the town’s involvement in hosting the Olympic Mountain Bike events, beginning Saturday 23rd July for an Olympic fun day and again on Saturday 30th July. See our ‘Events ’ category, to find out just how you can participate in the celebratory festivities of the 2012 Olympics. HOFS will also be home to an Olympic tourist board to inform local residents of National Olympic activities.

Sue Willis has completed many art works herself based upon Hadleigh’s regeneration and the Olympics. Her artistic talent can be viewed not only within the Old fire station but also via her blog, http://hadleigh-essex.blogspot.com/ set up in March to aid the community’s engagement with Hadleigh’s regeneration. Her blog is also now home to her Olympic story as Sue was selected to be one of the BT storytellers selected for London 2012, where she explained that “With a lifelong dream to study art, the small town of Hadleigh, Essex, where the Cycling Olympic event will take place, has become the focus for my artwork”.

Having spent time chatting with Sue, she explained to me “It’s great to see the Fire Station re-open after all this time and I’m really excited about the mix of artists and community groups that have taken up spaces within it. This and the fact that it will also be a venue for Olympic related events and fun days, means there is going to be a real buzz about the place in the year leading up to London 2012. It will well and truly put Hadleigh on the map and I feel very proud to be a part of it”.

Renovation works at the Old Fire Station began last summer thanks to a localised public conference, led by Castle Point Regeneration Partnership. The results of the conference, established a healthy public enthusiasm for a cultural and community provision in the heart of Hadleigh’s town centre, which is where the idea of artists’ studio space developed.

With help from Essex County Council, Castle Point Borough Council and other members of the Castle Point Regeneration Partnership, Hadleigh fire station has deservedly avoided risk of being sold off for development. Instead, Hadleigh’s landmark has been secured and contributes to Hadleigh town centre’s overall regeneration. Why not visit the newly modernised ‘Old Fire Station’ and show your interest in Hadleigh’s rejuvenation and Olympic preparation.


Published: July 22nd, 2011


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