Things are changing at The Victoria Institute.
The Victoria Institute is currently being looked after by a group of unpaid, Arundel-based volunteers.
The charitable aims of ‘The Vic’ are to save and secure the building, provide facilities for recreation and to expand and advance the education of Arundel residents. Our newly gained charity status has released very welcome funds from Arun District Council and Arundel Town Council, and changes are already underway – refurbishment of the frontage is starting next week, a new gas boiler has been installed and some internal painting is about to start. We are also clearing the courtyard and hope soon to have the most attractive internal garden space in Arundel
Our volunteers try to keep those values central to the activities that take place within the building, whether that be hosting the Arundel Community Choir or Drip Action Theatre Company, promoting exhibitions with local artists and makers, or working with other organisations such as Arundel Festival, Arundel Gallery Trail and Arundel Town Council to make sure the building reflects other activities taking place in the town. We’re also working long term towards our own programme of events, keeping the original aims of the building’s founders in mind.
All of the rooms and spaces in the Victoria Institute are available to hire by local organisations and individuals – in fact, we’re relying on it, since the money raised from the rental of spaces and rooms goes directly towards standing costs, future repairs, and preventing further deterioration.
Our long term aim is to apply for Heritage Lottery Funding to fully restore the current building and develop it into a thriving centre for the whole community – but the application process is an enormous undertaking. Keeping the building open for business in the meantime will allow us to get the whole site ready for the restoration project and to fully engage with the local community.
Thank you for reading!