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Plea for Beckenham's Alhambra Tiling Project

Studio owner Garnet Frost with Esta Bernal, 10

Studio owner Garnet Frost with Esta Bernal, 10

Archant

»Community arts volunteers have launched an 'urgent appeal' to back a pottery scheme which is under threat.

The planning permission for the Alhambra Tiling Project in Balgowan Road, Beckenham, has run out and needs to be renewed.

Volunteers want members of the public to make their support for the scheme known to keep it going.

The studio is owned by Beckenham artist Garnet Frost and entirely volunteer-run, working with primary school children and people with mental illnesses.

Mother-of-two and volunteer Zoe Hannam, 45, of Durban Road, Beckenham, said: “It’s such a brilliant project which is very important for the community.

“I’ve got so much out of volunteering here. I’ve worked with some very challenging children and those with special needs but the simplicity of working with clay appeals to so many of them.

“There is a serious lack of facilities for the arts. We also want to raise awareness of the fact that we are here because we don’t have much money to promote ourselves.”

The studio was granted temporary change-of-use three years ago on a conditional basis that it would be reviewed after that time and if it wanted to carry on, a permanent change of use would have to be applied for.

This will cost around £300 and needs to be gained through fundraising. Until the group can raise the money it is not legally allowed to use the studio.

Mayor of Bromley George Taylor visited the scheme last month.

He said: “I fully support the project, it was excellent. The small space it is in had just been left before they moved in and I don’t know what else you could use it for.” A date is yet to be set for the planning meeting. To support the project, write to councillor reg.adams@bromley.gov.uk or make your views known on www.beckenhamtown.us.

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