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The Vale in Mossley officially launches in September following £1m refurbishment

The Vale in Mossley is reopening following a refurbishment funded by partners including Arts Council England, Foyle Foundation, Heritage Lottery Fund, Sport England, Jigsaw Foundation and Power to Change, to make the building more accessible and to provide a fantastic, new multi-purpose arts centre.  Run by Carnival arts company Global Grooves, The Vale will hold an official launch on September 10th & 11th with a weekend of live programming and participatory events.

The refurbishment will see the former textile mill on Micklehurst Road become the only professional multi-arts venue in Tameside and the Northern Carnival Centre of Excellence.  From these first class facilities, Global Grooves will host a Carnival inspired programme of live music, dance and performance, making the most of the new dedicated live-music space and theatre.

As a popular creative hub, The Vale will continue to offer a range of community events, cinema screenings and training programmes alongside its programme of live performance. Each year thousands of residents from Tameside and beyond will come together to experience and take part in the very best arts and culture from around the world.

As well as providing a base for Global Grooves, The Vale 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.

In 2018 Global Grooves were awarded £490,000 Arts Council capital funding to develop The Vale and create the Northern Carnival Centre of Excellence. Following a further match fundraising campaign and an intensive building and refurbishment project, The Vale is now ready to open its doors.

The new venue means that Global Grooves, working alongside their partners, can now develop even more ambitious Carnival productions, train new and emerging Carnival artists and host masterclasses with international experts and cultural leaders as part of the Northern Carnival Centre of Excellence.

Leon Patel, Global Grooves Chief Executive Officer, says: “We are so excited to share this moment with our communities in Tameside and beyond. 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.”

Global Grooves brings people together to learn, share and collaborate through music, dance and visual arts. Their Carnival productions reach a multitude of people across the UK in towns and cities at festivals and in communities.

Their portfolio includes

  • The development of numerous Carnival productions, inspired by and created with practitioners from (and including research trips to) destinations such as Nigeria, Singapore, Brazil and The Gambia
  • The creation of winter festivals including Mossley Light Festival, which has seen cultural exchanges with expert Chinese lantern makers
  • In-house creation of puppets influenced by global traditions, commissioned by and appearing at Europe-wide festivals
  • A range of community programmes to develop skills, boost confidence and contribute to the resilience and cohesion of the local community. A recent example is Cotton Culture (see case study)
  • A Future Leaders programme (see case study)

The renovations at The Vale that have taken place are part of a journey to make the 150-year-old building accessible. The new performance space, visual arts studios, and toilets are all accessible.

The Vale will launch with a celebratory weekend on September 10th with live music, including Global Grooves collaborators Mr Wilson’s Second Liners and Honeyfeet (see live programme release).

Leon Patel added: “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 I think having such a great facility will impact on the quality of the work they produce.”

Jen Cleary, Director North and Combined Arts, Arts Council England, said:

“It is exciting to see The Vale reopening following its redevelopment and I’m so pleased that the Arts Council’s Capital programme has supported the creation of the largest carnival arts creation centre in the North West of England championing new and ambitious Carnival companies and productions which will be enjoyed locally and across the country. 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 and alumni as they embark on their careers in the industry. I look forward to seeing The Vale becoming a hub for creativity and participation in Mossley and enjoying the resulting programmes and activity.”

Funding has been provided from Arts Council England, Foyle Foundation, HLF, Sport England, Power to Change, Growth Co, Youth Music, Action Together, Jigsaw, National Lottery, Bangdrum CIC, Mossley Town Council and Warmco Properties.