Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Art Centre for Macc?

January was buzzing with chat and e mails regarding the town centre redevelopment and the 16th saw the deadline for comments on the finalised proposals. Hope you put fingers to keyboard.

The Loop has its own views on these and I’m sure you have yours but perhaps we agree on one thing. It is pitiful that a town of this size has so few cultural facilities. Cinemac is marvellous (do we really need a multiplex?) and Mads et al do great things, but according to The Times newspaper Macclesfield is the least cultured town in the Uk. Oh the shame. Actually, whether you give a hoot or not about polls and surveys the fact remains that the town has dismal cultural resources and is selling us all short.

The loop feels passionately that the reinvigoration of Macc should respect the existing heritage of the town whilst introducing a new hub of contemporary cultural activity. This approach is nothing new but a tried and tested success story in the regeneration of many towns and cities across the country. We would like to take visiting friends to see things in Macc instead of heading to Leek, Buxton or Manchester for a cultural fix or simply something to do….

We were inspired to read David Nelson’s (Chairman of silk Heritage Trust) views in the Macc Express and his vision for a centre of national excellence in the the exhibiting of the superb collections and study of silk heritage, centred in the current Park Lane Buildings.

To compliment this, the The loop would like to see the current Heritage Centre building turned over to a vibrant arts and cultural ‘building’ : a venue for touring theatre, bands, dance etc. with first class gallery exhibition space and studio and workshops for the young people of Macc (and you and I ofcourse), something to do apart from always heading to the pub. Given our location in beautiful countryside with great transport links lets give people real reasons to visit the centre of this town instead of using it as a train station and spring board to more stimulating places nearby.

We really would love to hear your views on the creation of a MACC (Macc arts and cultural centre?). I for one would love to be sitting in a modern glass atrium extension to the old ‘Heritage centre’, feasting my eyes on a great touring exhibition, waiting to see a class national dance group, rather than sitting outside a fast food outlet in the proposed windswept square (this is Macc after all) waiting to take my place on a seat in the huge anonymous multiplex to see a film I can currently see anyway ……or is it just me?

Please leave your comments here. An energetic discussion about this has to be had. The council (the new one of course) cannot tackle the challenges of this town with the determination and vision that's needed if we don’t tell them what we want can they?


Karen said...

Well done - you've said it all! I think the town of Macclesfield is crying out for places to show their artistic stuff including art, paintings, printing, theatre, dance, hand-made craft, etc etc. There are very few good central venues for people to show (and sell) their art in particular without paying a substantial fee to a gallery. Well done to the Loop for highlighting these issues!

Anonymous said...

I come from Blackheath/Greenwich in the SE & thought it was 'normal' to have a variety of places to go at the weekends ie craft markets,food fayres,live music,antique & Bric a Brac stalls,great cafes,street food etc.The life & soul of a town.Macclesfield is sadly lacking in 'Life'!It's not usual for there not to be anything on in the SE at the weekends for families & single people.The area is vibrant,full of creative,artistic types & makes for a convivial 'village' for them to get out & meet others with similar interests.Macclesfield is cold/heartless.There's no buzz here!What I have found, over the past two years is,people aren't friendly!They don't welcome outsiders/strangers.They don't seem to want to give any help to newcomers,to feel comfortable/part of life here in Macc.I joined several evening classes,a rambling group & the summer Italian Meetup,hoping that the locals would understand my situation and be friendly.It would have been fantastic for the town's redevelopment plans to have gone ahead.There is a huge need for change and to 'create' a better environment.The big car park in the middle of Macc should be turned into a buzzing market for ALL.This will generate 'life' and money for the town from renting out stalls.People are creative & the idea of making & selling their goods will give everybody a sense of worth.It is very costly running a shop,but this be the answer!I'm sure I'm not alone.There are many people who could put on demonstrations of their craft.Greenwich undercover market offers everything from photography to leather work,jewelry,printing,children's/adults clothes,shoes etc.......You only have to look at the areas that do this,to know it works.The areas are a nicer place to live,There is a 'heart'& people are friendlier! Karen