Planning permission has been granted for Phoenix Cultural Centre CIC’s new temporary home at 32 Goldsworth Road in Woking. Set to open its doors this autumn, it will be the centre’s base, with the cultural centre recently signing the lease for up to three years ahead of EcoWorld redeveloping the site.

The 2,000sqm space, let on a peppercorn rent, is being refurbished by EcoWorld to make the space accessible and fit for purpose.

The space will be an exciting new venue for the Woking community, housing the Fiery Bird Live Music venue which will host entertainment for up to 250 people. 

Phoenix Cultural Centre will also hire workspaces for social enterprise start-ups, and event spaces for community, cultural and health workshops and events and activities for all ages.

Phoenix Cultural Centre is a non-profit, community-led organisation dedicated to supporting and promoting community cohesion and wellbeing, opportunities in the arts and the creative economy in Woking borough and beyond.

The centre has been providing a platform for emerging artists and cultural practitioners to showcase their work and connect with audiences since 2010, from original music showcases, paid busking, festivals, family days, cultural events, gigs, health and wellbeing events, workshops and poetry nights.

Phoenix Cultural Centre has plans for an exciting programme in the new venue with UK touring acts, local music and comedy nights of diverse genres and their own workshops and events. It will also offer training and employment opportunities, reinstate partnerships working with special educational needs adults, and colleges and widen their outreach programme to be a space where other organisations and groups can widen their impact, help people develop ideas and run activities for visitors of all ages.

The organisation is also in talks with several partners interested in using the space, including The Jam exhibition, which, following its successful run at Somerset House in London, the Cunard Building in Liverpool and Brighton will be taking space at 32 Goldsworth Road to house the biggest exhibition to date encompassing not only The Jam, but also The Style Council and Paul Weller’s solo career.

Phoenix Cultural Centre exists to enable the community to be part of a vibrant and inclusive cultural hub that fosters creativity, innovation, and social engagement and celebrates diversity, promotes dialogue and inspires positive change.

Elaine McGinty, chief executive of Phoenix Cultural Centre, said: “We are excited to start the work to get the venue ready to open and offering performance opportunities from beginners to the touring artists, for all ages and members of the community, both groups and individuals, to enjoy and make happen here in Woking.

“This is a community venue. Its success depends on the support of the community, who can be involved and shape how they want their community venue to be.”

Lisa Gledhill, managing director of development at EcoWorld, said: “We are delighted with this milestone for Phoenix Cultural Centre.

“The new temporary home will allow Phoenix Cultural Centre to continue its vital work for the community and become a fantastic cultural hub for Woking.

“We’re looking forward to the next stage of this journey to help safeguard Woking’s cultural future.”