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Gateway secures Heritage Lottery funding


Gateway Studio Project (GSP) has received initial support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, to transform the Trinity Centre on Gateshead High Street into a centre of arts, heritage and community.

Development funding of £100,300, has been awarded to GSP, one of the few dance-centred arts organisations in the North East, and the only professional dance organisation in Gateshead. The development grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will help GSP progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.

The initial funding will allow GSP to develop plans to acquire, restore and convert the John Dobson Grade I-listed former church, which is currently in a poor state of repair, into a contemporary space which will also include office accommodation and studio hire. Plans for activities and interpretation will also be developed that will provide opportunities for people to engage with the heritage of the building for the first time.

The building, on one of Gateshead’s oldest sites with the adjacent St Edmund’s Chapel dating back to the thirteenth century, will be a focal point on Gateshead High Street for the local community. Part of the development will see the stained-glass window restored to its former glory by a specialist company. There are also plans for a ‘Bell Tower Café’ which will serve healthy and nutritious food during the day, and on weekend evenings showcase local talent through open mic nights, acoustic sets and art exhibitions.

Commenting on the funding, Martin Hylton, GSP’s founder and Artistic Director said: “We are absolutely delighted with the support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which provides an amazing opportunity to breathe new life into a heritage building.

“Dance and the arts are powerful tools in transforming individuals and communities. This new development will not only put Gateshead firmly on the map in terms of developing and supporting professional artists, but will also help to transform the local community”.

As well as working professionally with children, young people and adults, GSP also uses its expertise to work with and support harder-to-reach young people from areas of socio-economic disadvantage, looked-after children and young people at risk, or suffering with mental health issues.

The award is great news for the community-based organisation, which was left devastated earlier this year when the building was broken into and extensive damage caused. The local community rallied around, raising over £2,700 through a ‘go fund me’ campaign, to make urgent repairs and make the building safe.




About Gateway Studio Project (GSP) -

· A Community Interest Company founded in 2012 by Martin and Debbie Hylton.

· Martin Hylton was one of the most outstanding dancers of his generation, having trained at Northern School of Contemporary Dance and then worked as a lead dancer with Nye Carte Blanche, Norway and Phoenix Dance Theatre Leeds. He was development manager for the Centre of Advanced Training at Dance City, until 2012 when he set up his own dance studio and youth dance company Gateway Studios. His wife, Debbie, is a former dancer and teacher and, together, they provide a range of programmes aimed at bringing dance participation to the region.

· GSP works with Phoenix Dance Theatre, a National Portfolio Organisation, to deliver Phoenix Academy North East, supporting aspiring young dancers from the region. This has helped local students gain places at conservatoire training such as Laban, the Place – London.

· GSP supports around 1,000 people a year through a range of community-based and professional dance programmes.

About the National Lottery Heritage Fund

National Lottery Heritage Fund grant applications over £250,000 are assessed in two rounds. Gateway Studio Project has initially been granted round one development funding of £100,300 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, allowing it to progress with its plans. Detailed proposals are then considered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund at second round, where a final decision is then made on the full funding requirement.

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund


Gateway Studio Project

Sue Wilson, Chair elect

Ruth Mcfarlane, Administrator

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