The North-East’s leading carnival arts company has continued its expansion with the launch of a new centre in Sunderland.
The Creative Seed, which stages carnival parades and special events across the country, has taken over the former Labour Exchange at St Hilda’s Parish Centre, in The Kings Road, Southwick to create a new arts centre.
Renamed Carnival House, the centre will officially open on Friday March 27 and will host a range of workshops, activities and a full programme of classes for all ages, along with being available for private hire for celebrations, events and business meetings.
The new venue also boasts a carnival-themed café, which will be open to the local community and visitors from further afield.
The latest acquisition comes shortly after The Creative Seed took over St Hilda’s Pit Head in South Shields, which is also now being used as a creative and arts space.
Sandy Harris, Artistic Director at The Creative Seed, said: “The transformation of the building is spectacular and we’re sure everyone that sees it will be blown away and realise what a huge asset this is to the area.
“We have some amazingly ambitious plans and we’re offering a mixed programme of workshops and events so there will be something for everyone.”
The launch of Carnival House is the latest success story for The Creative Seed, which has worked extensively with organisations across the region and beyond.
This includes being the driving creative force behind South Tyneside Council’s annual summer festival parade and creating the community parade for Sunderland’s Halloween Lights Out festival last year.
Workshops already planned include needlecraft and glassmaking with a full programme of evening entertainment also currently being planned.
Sandy added: “Having some incredible spaces means that we can continue to grow what we do and what we can offer to the local community.
“It’s a very exciting venture for us and hope people will come along and not only be amazed at the transformation but will also see Carnival House as something of real value for the area.”