Wellington Orbit, a not-for-profit organisation which opened in May 2019, has been included in the Levelling Up Fund bid for Wellington, submitted by Telford & Wrekin Council to the Government for consideration.
The bid for the Orbit is over £1.4m which if successful will build on the success of the cinema and help to provide a more flexible arts space for the benefit of the community in the town. 10% of the bid amount will be required to be match-funded by Wellington Orbit in order to receive the funding award.
The Orbit opened with phase 1 consisting of a 63-seat cinema and cafe following years of fundraising and support from the community and local investors, including Telford & Wrekin Council. Phase 2 will more than double the size of their current facilities, seeing the remaining floors of the building come to fruition with a performing arts studio, exhibition space and much, much more.
The Levelling Up Fund, managed by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, is designed to provide vital investment in local communities and towns where it can make the biggest difference to everyday life, and also help redevelop deprived towns, ex-industrial areas and coastal communities. It is also designed to help local areas select genuine local priorities for investment.
Ray Hughes, A Director at Wellington Orbit said:
“We are truly thankful for the support we have received from Telford and Wrekin Council, Wellington Town Council and also the local community in helping us on our journey to bring vital arts and culture facilities to the community of Wellington and beyond.
“We are not there yet as the bidding process is competitive, but If we are successful in the bid, the funding will be the cornerstone to the redevelopment of all of Wellington market town and allow us to deliver the facilities the community has been asking for”.
The Orbit originated from a group of likeminded individuals back in 2012 who recognised Wellington is missing crucial arts and culture facilities to give individuals the chance to express their talent and creativity. Their original plan involved acquiring the former Clifton Cinema building but attempts to obtain the building were unsuccessful. Therefore, an alternative site was identified and acquired in the heart of Wellington Town at the former HSBC Bank building on 1 Station Road.
Councillor Lee Carter (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, Regeneration and the High Street, said:
“Wellington Orbit is an organisation which will play a vital role in helping the redevelopment of the market town and have an immediate impact on the community.
“We are pleased to be able to include them in our bid to Government for Levelling Up Funding.”
Wellington Orbit has some more exciting news to announce in the coming weeks which will give members of the public the chance to play a major part in the project whilst increasing the Orbit’s ability to offer these vital facilities. You can stay up to date with the latest developments at www.wellingtonorbit.co.uk.