Over the last six months we have had eight artists in residence and a few more drop-ins here and there; they have made great things and we have been greatly boosted by the creative energy that they have brought to the club (and glad of income!).
Assuming all goes to plan, the longer term mix of life will have artists and creatives at the core, but with additional ingredients of good food, community provision and youth facilities. As and when details are finalised, we will share news.
We now have funds together to start serious building work so it will soon be a bit more obvious that something is actually happening with the club.
We have now received Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent for the changes we want to make to the building and the way we want to use it, so all is still on track. Many thanks to all those who have supported our applications and helped us along the way.
The building works will be relatively modest but necessary and we hope to have them completed by Easter or thereabouts. We are arranging funds to start work, but now that we have our consents, hopeful that the loans can be increased…
We have had a lot of interest from people wanting to rent rooms/studios and plans for the cafe are all looking very hopeful (as many of you will have heard on the Fram grapevine). We’ll announce news as and when things are definite.
In the meantime, anyone interested in renting or hiring rooms after Easter, please do drop us a line and we’ll get back to you about possible opportunities.
Ciao for now…
We had an amazing day on Thursday with a steady stream of interested folk coming through the door over the ten hours we were open.
People weren’t quite sleeping out overnight to be first though the door, but the first knock came before St Michael’s church had finished tolling 10am. We then had an unrelenting flow of visitors which eased only briefly during the afternoon. By 8pm we were being propped up by the bar and resident artists and visitors. It was a thoroughly positive day which brought some new interesting and challenging ideas, but everyone was overwhelmingly positive. So thank you to everyone from Fram and roundabouts who came with such good energy and feedback.
We hope to progress a planning application and an application for listed building consent application fairly soon; we aren’t wanting to make any significant alterations to the building (nor can we afford to!) but we want to make some changes to improve accessibility and achieve a good balance of public and private uses, including cafe, studio space, offices, exhibition and group course space, co-working and meeting rooms for community use.
If you are interested in meeting us to discuss our emerging plans or any ideas you may have for the place, please do drop in any time between 10am and 8pm on Thursday 4th July.
Hope to see you!
Several artists are setting up studios in the building and the flat is again being lived in. From the outside it may not look like anything is happening, but new life is beginning.
A longer term mixed-use vision for the future of the club is taking shape, following plenty of interest from a wide range of people. We are currently discussing ideas for minor alterations to the building with East Suffolk Council and we hope to discuss emerging plans with the community at an Open Day on Thursday 4th July. Please put the date in your diary!
Thanks to all those who sent in suggestions following the recent article in the EADT, and thanks to Amy Gibbons for helping to spread the word about what we are hoping to achieve.
Also thanks to the author of some enthusiastic late-night lipstick graffiti on the notice board. All comments taken on board, whatever the medium.
Link to EADT article:
It’s a familiar slogan but worth reminding ourselves of it on World Earth Day as we bask in unseasonably high temperatures, with little rain in sight and Greenland ice apparently melting a month earlier than normal.
How is this relevant to the Con Club and Fram? Well, our hope is that we will be able to provide creative and sociable workspace within the town for people living in walking or cycling distance of it, thus reduce the number of people driving out of town for work, counter the trend towards dormitory housing and in so doing make a modest contribution to making Fram more sustainable, creative and sociable. It’s already a great town but we can always do better. The growth in the town’s housing is not being matched by growth in employment or social opportunity.
PS hoping to get the boarding down soon and to begin to get the building back in use….
We have today completed buying the Con Club. This may make us fools, but even if so, we have no option but to succeed!
Thanks to everyone we have met or spoken to over the last week for the continuing stream of good energy and ideas. Historic and measured building surveys now commissioned. Asbestos survey shortly to follow. Yippee.
The Con Club has just been awarded ‘Asset of Community Value’ status. This is a planning designation feared by developers but it is a label we will wear with pride.
Big thanks to everyone who has sent such positive messages over the last week and shared initial ideas. And thanks to Fram Town Council for an enjoyable and very encouraging meeting this afternoon.
Some very heartening emails received from neighbours – thank you