Work underway on Town Deal-backed arts facility project

Published: Fri 10th May, 2024

  • From left, Simon Birchall, David Pagett-Wright, Martin Traynor, Jill Vincent, Jonathan Hale, Cllr Jenni Tillotson, Andy Harper, Roger Perrett

Loughborough Town Deal's chair has welcomed news that work has begun on a 1930s derelict building in Loughborough to transform it into a multi-media arts hub.

The Generator project, which is supported by a £1.6 million grant from Loughborough Town Deal, will become a new multimedia arts centre for performances, exhibitions, and community engagement.

Support has also come from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Architectural Heritage Fund, an Arts Council England Project Grant, and a successful Crowdfunding campaign.

Based on Packe Street in Loughborough, the Generator received further funding in December 2023 of £700,000 from the Community Ownership Fund and it has just been announced that the project will benefit from a further £400,000 through an Arts Council England Capital grant.

The work has now begun with the building expected to be completed and open to the public in spring 2025.

It is one of 11 projects Loughborough Town Deal is backing after securing £16.9 million of Government funding. In total, the projects are worth over £40 million of investment for the town.

Martin Traynor OBE, Chair of Loughborough Town Deal, said: "I am delighted to see work under way at the Generator project now that additional funding has been secured.

"This important project has the potential to be a significant feature in Loughborough's expanding arts and culture scene. This is a building with tremendous architectural heritage and character that will be brought back into use following an extensive refurbishment. I look forward to following the progress of this project and joining the team for the opening of this new facility in the 2025."

The project is being led by the Generator Loughborough Community Interest Company.

David Pagett-Wright, Chair of The Generator Loughborough CIC said, "With the building work underway, to achieve an opening in Spring 2025, this additional funding will let us realise even more of our goals, providing high quality creative and cultural experiences for people in Loughborough, Leicestershire and beyond."

The recent funding announcements have meant that work on the building could start. It will include structural work to the roof and basement, the installation of a new mezzanine viewing platform, stairs and lift, toilets, doors, windows and flooring, sound and heat insulation and a bar being installed.

The 1930s building was originally home to diesel generators that powered the then Loughborough College's many town centre departments.

Charnwood Borough Council has also supported the project with funding.

Cllr Jennifer Tillotson, the Council's lead member for economic development, regeneration and town centre, said: "This is such an exciting project and it is fantastic to see the work on the building underway.

"It is key that we offer residents, students and visitors a place to come and be creative and the Generator certainly will be that. There will also be economic benefits to this project with it attracting more footfall to the town centre as people come to see and work in this intriguing building."

To find out more about the Loughborough Town Deal projects including the Generator, visit the Town Deal website.