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New lease of life for Coniston Institute
11:18am Tuesday 11th September 2012 in News
VILLAGERS celebrated when a landmark which has served the community of Coniston for generations re-opened its doors after being given a ‘new lease of life’.
The revamped Coniston Institute, in Yewdale Road, opened on Saturday with a special ceremony.
Celebrating its 160th anniversary, the institute is ‘unique and remarkable’ according to the team behind the scheme, who sees it as one of the best-preserved examples of a 19th century mechanics’ institute.
They hope it will to provide a centre for arts, education and community cohesion at the heart of the Lake District National Park.
Deputy institute director Alistair Hudson said: “This is a new way forward for cultural activity to develop in communities, not just as a spectacle or visitor attraction, but integrated into day-to-day lives, in a way that can be useful to residents and visitors alike.”
The building now includes a new public library, a community-run village honesty shop, new kitchens, indoor markets, the restoration of the reading room and plans under way to build a new architect-designed cricket pavilion.
Mr Hudson added: “What has been remarkable is the way that the village has come together to make this project happen. We had a visit from a group of directors from the Tate and other national museums earlier in the year and they were astonished and utterly envious of the level of commitment and involvement the Institute project had generated. I think its former president John Ruskin would have been delighted.”
For more information and images contact Alistair Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 015394 41050 or 07901 918095.