Music & arts venues in York

18 December 2023

Project Contact: Gemma Torr, email

Clifton Street Community Centre

10 June 2024

Aaja Music

12 January 2023

Aaja Music is a grassroots music organisation founded by Sam and Owen, two local music business owners from the local Deptford area; incorporating a record label, radio station, music event space. They were forced out of their pre-Covid home, into their temporary home during and since Covid at the nearby Snake Pit – an outdoor venue. Now they’re on a mission to transform this venue on Deptford High Street, which has been empty for 10 years, having been the local Marks & Spencer (the jewellery counter still remains!), car park and underground club. Step in our first project in partnership with Barclaycard Entertainment, doing #SomethingConstructive together for grassroots music, arts and culture.

The project:

  • First up was major clearance and site prep to make the space accessible including asbestos removal, temporary electrics/lighting (thanks to GAP Tool Hire), prepping a temporary toilet area, floor levelling and an industrial clean
  • Construction of two stud walls around the new entrance, to create a sound barrier for neighbours
  • Construction of the walls and doorway between the two larger event spaces
  • Initial construction of the hallway which separates the main music space from the other areas and creation of the live radio studio

The young people: 10 local young volunteers, from the Construction Youth Trust, Lewisham College, St Giles’ Trust and Royal Greenwich Council

The impact:

  • This project kickstarts a wider programme of works to create Aaja’s new long-term home on Deptford High Street, with a 10 year lease
  • Hands-on work experience for 10 young people looking to get into construction, helping to develop a space they may use on their doorstep
  • Expanding the organisation into two venues: the High Street as their indoor home and radio station, The Snake Pit as their live event & market space

Accreditations gained: 9 City & Guilds accreditations gained in Carpentry

See the impact of the project in our film below.

Cromer Artspace

29 December 2022

Epic Studios

29 December 2022

Fulford Arms

8 September 2023

Gabalfa Youth and Community Centre

22 March 2024

In consultation with the local community, including its young population, Gabalfa Youth & Community Centre is on the up. A former council building, it’s the only youth provision in the north of Cardiff, and was in a fairly tired state. A collaborative decision was made between the centre and the local young people to move the venue forward, nominating the creation of multi-media spaces for young people to make, record and produce music and learn a range of digital arts skills including podcasting, green screen technology and 3D printing.

Step in our fourth project in partnership with Barclaycard, as part of their commitment to using music and the arts as a vehicle to teach life skills to young people.

The project:

We created a sliding door to create the sound booth, fitted acoustic tiles for basic soundproofing, fitted a window in between the two rooms, boarded existing windows for soundproofing, created shelving and tables, before prepping walls and redecorating throughout in inspiring colours to lead the club into the next phase.

The young people: 26 local young people taking part, the majority of whom regularly use the youth and community centre and volunteered to help these spaces they’ll thrive in moving forwards in, as well as local refugees referred through the YMCA and the local JobCentre.

The impact:

  • 22 young people gaining a City & Guilds accreditation in Painting & Decorating and Health & Safety
  • 3 multi-media spaces prepped and ready to be fully kitted out with donated equipment from local partners supporting the youth centre – ready to officially open in summer 2024
  • A youth and community centre fit for the future, using colour zoning to create dedicated wellbeing, gaming, homework and pool table areas, in an inspiring and complementary Dulux palette chosen by the young people
  • Painting and the building of a new outdoor shed supported by 7 partner volunteers from Toolstation over the border in South West England

James Healan, Principal Youth Officer for Cardiff Youth Service: “Working in partnership with VIY and Barclaycard to bring alive a creative media space to young
people in north Cardiff was an opportunity we could not miss. Young people and the wider community will continue to benefit from a range of innovative and creative experiences in this digital space for years to come. Involving young people from the community gives them ownership and makes them partners in the space, encouraging them to be active partners in the activities and opportunities delivered.”

Dan Mathieson, Head of Sponsorship for Barclaycard, said: “We are excited to collaborate again with VIY on what is our fourth project together and first in Wales. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished space and the benefits the refurbishments will bring to the local community.”

Norfolk Community Arts

26 July 2023

Nottingham Arts Theatre

26 July 2023

Old Library

29 December 2022

A standout project in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council and the UK Government Community Renewal Fund*.

The project:

Renovating a Grade II listed venue in the heart of Mansfield, The Old Library, used for community arts activities, including a makeover through extensive painting & decorating to its interiors and community cafe, to celebrate its 25th anniversary and revitalise the venue ahead of a busy summer of arts activity and performance.

The young people: 17 young people aged 16+ were referred by two local youth organisations: Inspire Culture and Vision West Nottinghamshire College

The impact:

  • Interiors, lobby and cafe space upgraded to make it more welcoming
  • Multiple onsite work-readiness training sessions delivered by Travis Perkins
  • Visit from Executive Mayor for Mansfield, Andy Abrahams (pictured right)
  • Platforms donated by GAP Tool Hire
  • 7 of the learners have been supported by VIY in accessing and progressing to construction-related further training and employment opportunities
  • Dominic Thompson, aged 22, who was NEET on joining VIY, had no past experience in trade skills or interest in construction. He spent three weeks on the project, gaining an Entry Level 3 City & Guilds qualification in Painting & Decorating and has now successfully progressed post-VIY into a formal/higher level Painting & Decorating course and is looking to gain full time employment as a Decorator once finished

Accreditations gained: 15 young people achieved a City & Guilds Entry Level 3 accreditation in Painting & Decorating 

*You can find more information, on the UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund here.

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