POETRY sessions and a novel bird box trail for children will be launched by Castle Park Arts Centre following the historic building’s £40,000 refurbishment.
Other improvement include a new toilet block and wheelchair-friendly automatic doors at the main entrance to the Frodsham trust run site.
The arts centre – created in 1986 from the original stable block to the adjacent Castle Park House – has also had the gardens replanted and, in a project led by Cheshire West and Chester Arts Development Officer, Emma Knight, it will become the starting point of a trail of bird boxes that will lead youngsters into the surrounding parkland to learn about the local wildlife.
Artist and poet Alex Finley has been commissioned to create the eye-catching bird boxes, and he will also lead groups of children in regular poetry sessions in the arts centre garden.
The centre courtyard has also been resurfaced, providing an attractive space for coffee shop customers to eat al fresco.
Trustees treated volunteers who man the arts centre to a coffee and cakes morning to celebrate refurbishment and to thank them for their help during building work.
“We’re very grateful for everything they do for the arts centre,” said Frank Birkenhead, chair of trustees, who are now working on plans to refurbish one of the three galleries at the venue, the largest independent art gallery in Cheshire.
“They put up with a lot of noise, dust and drafts during the work, but the centre now has a much more welcoming front.”
The centre runs a rolling programme of changing exhibitions of visual arts and crafts, showcasing artists and designers from the area and further afield as well as being the home to various clubs and societies.
Current exhibitions, running until May 10, include images by the Wednesday Art Club, Some Old, Some New, landscapes and other work by Roland Brandon, and Assemblages, artwork by Martin Waters created with items found at Spurn Point, a disappearing stretch of the East Yorkshire coastline.