A NEW-LOOK arts centre has opened its doors in Mossley after a £1 million refurbishment.
And the people behind The Vale feel it can impact the future, with stars in the arts being produced in Tameside.
The facility on Micklehurst Road is now the only professional multi-arts venue in Tameside and the Northern Carnival Centre of Excellence.
The new venue means that carnival company Global Grooves can now develop even more ambitious productions, train new and emerging artists and host masterclasses with international experts and cultural leaders.
The renovations also make the 150-year-old building accessible, with the new performance space, visual arts studios, and toilets all accessible.
A former textile mill, it was the scene of a weekend-long official launch on Friday and Saturday, September 10 and 11.
September 10 saw festival favourites Mr Wilson’s Second Liners perform, while the day after saw Honeyfeet, fronted by 2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year Rioghnach Connolly, visit.
Saturday, September 25 sees Gambian artist Sefo Kanuteh perform.
And from the now first class facilities, The Vale will host a lot more than Global Grooves, although it will have a live programme of music, dance, cinema, theatre and visual arts, attracting thousands of visitors from Tameside and beyond.
It will continue to offer a range of community events, cinema screenings and training programmes alongside live performances.
Its impact will also be felt much further than Tameside it is also home to carnival arts company Cabasa CIC plus several other music and arts companies, who deliver programmes of cultural engagement across the UK.
Funding the renovation has not been an easy ride for Global Grooves, who found themselves badly affected when Ray Mill in Stalybridge burned down in 2018.
After being awarded £490,000 funding from the Arts Council, they embarked on a further match fundraising campaign.
In the end, Foyle Foundation, Heritage Lottery Fund, Sport England, Jigsaw Foundation, Power to Change, Growth Co, Youth Music, Action Together, Jigsaw, National Lottery, Bangdrum CIC, Mossley Town Council and Warmco Properties contributed.
Leon Patel, Global Grooves’ chief executive, said: “The Vale provides a diverse programme of cultural opportunity for so many and it is truly great to be able to do this in a newly refurbished building with purpose-built facilities.
“There will be something for everyone at The Vale from dance to live music and of course Carnival.
We can’t wait to welcome people into the space and be part of shaping the future of the venue.
“As the only multi-arts venue in Tameside we are really proud that many of the people who we work with now have somewhere to visit in the borough without having to travel to the city centre.
“Alongside this we are seeing that other cultural professionals are starting to base themselves here and build a stronger cultural community with expertise being retained in Tameside.
“The pandemic has had a huge impact on the delivery of this capital project and Global Grooves has not had the earned income we predicted, so to be able to complete The Vale is a real achievement.
“We are really looking forward to providing a fantastic space for Carnival artists to develop work and having such a great facility will impact on the quality of the work they produce.
“World-class artists are coming to a small town in Tameside to share their fantastic music with our communities. That’s exactly what The Vale is all about.
“We’re so excited by what we’ve achieved with the refurbishment.”
Jen Cleary, director north and combined arts at Arts Council England, added: “It is exciting to see The Vale reopening following its redevelopment.
“Global Grooves already trains the next generation of carnival artists through its future leaders programme and the new facilities will further support those young artists.
“I look forward to seeing The Vale becoming a hub for creativity and participation in Mossley and enjoying the resulting programmes and activity.”