Two enterprising musicians and entrepreneurs from Mossley have opened a £60,000 cinema and arts space based in a 19th century former cotton mill off Micklehurst Road in Mossley.
The Vale which opened on September 2, is a social enterprise backed by private and charitable funding and designed to engage people of all ages and is the brainchild of Leon Patel and Holly Prest, who met over 20 years ago when they performed in a percussion group called Casaba at nearby Roughtown Community Centre.
It will cater for everyone, from babies to elderly adults, and the centre boasts a 60-seat cinema (with restored seats from Colne’s Muni cinema), plus a programme of film, craft, music and carnival, as well as hot desking and meeting facilities.
Leon, who also runs music based social enterprise Bangdrum, said: “We develop projects that engage communities and artists in all different ways, and we were using this as a space for training people in carnival arts.
adding " we saw there was an opportunity to give back to the local community, and that this building wasn’t being used to its full potential, so we decided to invest so it could open the doors to everybody."
The Vale will run a series of regular workshops and film screenings, starting with A Crafty Brew (a craft club for adults and older people), Carnival Club for ages nine to 14, and the Shake, Rattle And Roll music making session for ages four and under.
On the first Thursday of each month, it will screen a classic film for teens and adults, followed by a monthly movie and art group for the little ones on the first Saturday, starting with 1967 animation The Jungle Book on Saturday (September 5).
The centre will also be home to the Future Leaders project, run by the pair’s Global Grooves organisation, which trains young people aged 13-25 in music, dance, and visual arts to try to inspire the next generation of social entrepreneurs who will create groups in which young talent can flourish.
Holly adds: “From an early age, I had been involved in music and arts. But it took until the age of 20 to stop messing around with other stuff and do what I should be doing - I was meant to be doing.
“We realised there wasn’t necessarily a wave of youngsters behind us doing the same, and we wanted to bring that next wave through and help them revive that spirit.”
For further information or to book visit The Vale website www.the-vale.co.uk