Community: Arc’s vision of a Stockport town centre creative arts hub

Share the love

Arc is moving to Hat Works in October 2019 with a vision of developing a new Stockport town centre creative arts hub

We are delighted to announce that Arc will be relocating to Wellington Mill, AKA Hat Works in Stockport in October.

Arc began in 1995 at Greek Street, Stockport under the name of ‘MAPS’ and moved to the Vauxhall Industrial Estate Craven Works building in early 1997. Arts for Recovery in the Community or ‘Arc’ was then launched in 2005. The Arc Centre in its current form, including gallery servung refreshments and public programme has been running since 2016.
Of course, we are sad to say goodbye to the old Craven Brothers factory and the Reddish community as our base. We are so grateful to the local residents and businesses who have supported us for so long. Please, don’t be strangers! We made the building our own over the years and take with us many, many great memories. However, we must embrace change and make the most of new opportunities for the organisation, so  we are very excited by this move to our next home. We won’t be open straight away except for certain events, but follow our Facebook page to keep updated or subscribe to a mailing list!

Looking to the future at Wellington Mill, we will have exclusive use of several rooms on the floor accessed via the A6 and Hat Works Museum shop. This will include a large art studio, ceramics studio, offices and storage spaces. We will also share the large cafe, events and retail space with the Hat Works museums team and work together to build a bigger audience for both organisations and hopefully a Stockport town centre creative arts hub.

There are several reasons why this is a positive move for Arc:

From Hat Works we will continue to offer programmes to vulnerable adults and young people, our Saturday Art Clubs and public courses, opportunities for local artists to network and build skills, and a wide range of partnership projects.

We are excited to be based in Central Stockport

Last year Arc delivered 33 creative projects to over 1500 people. Hat Works offers us an amazing opportunity to continue our offer we have but be in a more central and accessible location. Having a town centre base is a fantastic opportunity for us to engage even more people with our creative programmes, to connect them with Stockport’s museum and cultural offer, and to develop a creative hub. 

We are welcoming opportunities to work closely alongside Hat Works and SMBC

We’re looking forward to working with the Hat Works team to increase audiences and participation for both organisations and to make the venue a real success. After more than 20 years in existence, this is a truly exciting new chapter in the Arc story.


We love that we will we will be based in a heritage building

As a team of mostly creatives and educators, we are really excited to be based inside a heritage site with such a rich history, particularly a creative one! Hopefully we can be part of its future in bringing the heart of Stockport’s creativity, hatting history and education to the mill’s visitors. We think the building is beautiful and find it very inspiring!

We are open to growth and change

In some ways we outgrew a building which has had increasing structural issues, and with the reach and amazing feedback from our recent large-scale projects “We Are Dreamers” and “The Other in Mother“, we are excited to see where a change such as location will take us.


Ultimately, we hope to transform more lives

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health issue, and after engaging with the arts, 82% of recent participants reported improved wellbeing. We believe that wellbeing is something that everyone should be aware of. We think that self-care and being in tune with our feelings should be part of everyone’s daily lives, not just for those with a diagnosed mental health issue and want to encourage children to take part in arts for their own wellbeing from a young age. A central location may alleviate any barriers that some people have around travel or visiting unknown areas, and connect us more easily with our Stockport partner agencies to positively impact more lives.

Change can sometimes be scary but also hugely energising. I hope that you will join us in seizing this moment to write the next chapter of the Arc story in creating a Stockport town centre creative arts hub. I, for one, am up for the challenge!

Jacqui Wood,
Artistic Director, Arc
shares