The Ventnor Fringe Festival team outside the former Ventnor Post Office. Back row (from left): Nicola Underwood, Joseph Keele Toms, Jack Whitewood, Billy May. Front row (from left): Thea Welsford, Becky Boucherat, Mhairi Macaulay
A NEW Isle of Wight arts venue, created by the team behind the award-winning Ventnor Fringe Festival, is set to be opened.
The Ventnor Exchange will be a year round facility, building on the success of the fringe festival, which each year brings an eclectic host of musicians, actors, artists and the unusual to the town.
The team said that, subject to planning permission, they want to convert the town’s former Post Office in Church Street into a cultural centre featuring live performances, talks, debates, weekly vinyl markets and a small bar open in the evenings.
The idea was inspired by a similar project at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where an abandoned brothel was re-developed in the 1960s to become a theatre.
In a statement issued this week, fringe organisers said: "From May 2014 the building will also be equipped to transform into a Studio Theatre with a full programme of performances during the week.
"Hosting work from both visiting companies and work produced by the Exchange and it’s team of associate artists, it is planned to be a unique venue showcasing emerging talent."
Festival director Jack Whitewood described the project as: "The next exciting steps in our journey to develop a unique creative hub in Ventnor."
They will be publishing updates on the project on their website www.vfringe.co.uk, twitter @Vfringe and facebook.com/vfringe
Applications for acts who want to take part in this year’s Ventnor Fringe, which will run from Tuesday, August 12 to Sunday, August 17 — making it the biggest ever — have opened.
Details are from the Ventnor Fringe website.