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ACT: Arts and Community in Thornbury

What's the latest?

In January 2013, Chris Roberts, Chair of ACT, made the following announcement:

"For some time, Arts and Community in Thornbury (ACT) has been working on a project to re-develop the Armstrong Hall Complex by introducing new buildings on the site, including a modern flexible theatre to suit all community needs.

For the project to succeed it needed to be operationally viable and have the support of those for whom it is being provided.

The conclusion we have reached is that the project at this time is not viable.

This is a huge disappointment to all in ACT and we are sure it will be to all supporters of this initiative.

We are proud to say “we tried” but accept we must bow to the impact of the economic downturn.

We are pleased to announce, however, that ACT will continue to operate. We have decided to focus on supporting the Arts in Thornbury and the surrounding area.

Over the next few months we will develop our ideas into plans on how to implement this new initiative, possibly by way of ACT becoming a Charitable Foundation that donates to worthy causes, arts related.

We expect to continue with a number of events that have proved to be popular, as well as being successful fundraisers.

How to contact ACT

Image by Pat Collins Image by Pat Collins

To become a FACT (Friend of ACT) and receive regular mailings, please contact Ruth Piolle on 01454 416518 or


Chairman: Chris(topher) Roberts
Tel: 01454 416243

Company Secretary: Lyn Bedford
35 Sibland Road, Thornbury, BS35 2EP
Tel: 01454 884154

Finance Director: Dylan Griffiths
Applestone Barn, Chapel Road, Oldbury-on-Severn, BS35 1PL
Tel: 01454 281611

Immediate Past Chairman: Philip Darley
50 High Street, Thornbury, BS35 2AN
01454 416291

The History of ACT

Following a successful public meeting in November 2005, when support for ACT's project was positively and overwhelmingly expressed, a volunteer, 14 strong Steering Group was established in February 2006 and has been ably supported by a small group of volunteer consultants, offering expertise in the fields of arts, education, business acumen, town planning, architecture and legal procedures.

In 2006 ACT became a Limited Company, setting up its own financial systems, with a generous starting fund of over £4,000 received from the profits of The Thornbury Plays 2000, a community production.

In 2007, ACT became a Registered Charity. Since then ACT's profile has been raised in many ways, with several hundred FACTs [Friends of ACT] and a wealth of supporters from the Arts World, such as Barry Cryer, Samuel West, Willy Russell, Chris Harris, Kate Haste, Trevor Fry and Chris Vacher, all lending vital support.

The Steering Group was thrilled to welcome Catherine Johnson, author and scriptwriter of Mamma Mia! ~ the musical and film, as ACT's Founder Patron at the beginning of 2009.

See also

Performing arts

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