New arts and community space opens in Keynsham

Community groups and local businesses in Keynsham are being offered the use of an affordable and flexible space to hold events thanks to the transformation of a vacant property in Temple Street.

Keynsham MakeSpace at 2 Riverside Terrace, opposite Keynsham Leisure Centre, has been fully refurbished as an accessible space for activities including pop-up shops, studio art sessions, community events and workshops.

The space aims to encourage people to use the southern end of the High Street and has been funded by an £180,000 cash injection by the West of England Combined Authority, led by Metro Mayor Dan Norris.

The project complements the Keynsham High Street Heritage Action Zone (HS HAZ) Temple Street Improvement Project currently being carried out by Bath & North East Somerset Council. Keynsham MakeSpace is managed by the council.

Working with Keynsham Town Council and Keynsham Local Cultural Consortium, the council has also reopened the Keynsham Cultural Programme small grants scheme to fund community led heritage related pop-up events for 2023/24.

Proposals for new activities that reflect the vibrant culture, history, traditions, places and people of Keynsham are invited and all projects need to make use of Keynsham MakeSpace. The deadline for applications is March 20.

Councillor Mark Roper, cabinet member for economic development, regeneration & growth, said: “Keynsham MakeSpace is an important part of our Vacant Unit Action Project which tests a variety of uses in properties that were formerly not being used.

“It’s part of our drive to reimagine future high streets across the district and is going to be a brilliant asset for the community in Keynsham, enabling more cultural activities and events in the town to bring people together.

“We are looking forward to hearing from local groups and business about their ideas for activities they want to hold at the space.”

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “Having a great place to meet helps communities thrive. Now the refurbishment is complete thanks to a £180,000 cash injection from my West of England Mayoral Authority, I’m urging Keynsham residents to come up with great ideas to rent the space for pop-up shops, events, exhibitions, workshops, meetings, and more. I hope this will be a valued addition to the town.”

Councillor Andy Wait, Chair of Keynsham Town Council, said: “Keynsham MakeSpace is a wonderful opportunity for community and business groups to use this flexible facility for a whole variety of activities.  It is an excellent new space in Keynsham.”

Organisations interested in hiring the venue are invited to fill in an Expression of Interest to let the council know more about their idea. Bath & North East Somerset Council worked with local architects DKA, YOU & ME Architects and local sign writer Tozer to refurbish Keynsham MakeSpace. The shopfront improvement was funded by Historic England as part of the shopfront Improvement project. A new video shows the project’s progress across Bath & North East Somerset to date.