A creative hub on the Isle of Wight is to create a unique Big Top tent, expected to serve as a flexible, mid-scale venue for Island-wide events.

Ventnor Exchange is set to embark on the ambitious project following today's  (Wednesday, May 8) announcement of a £225,000 grant from Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme. 

With this financial support, Ventnor Exchange aims to realise its ‘much dreamt about ambition’ to commission a versatile mid-scale venue that can travel between different towns and villages, hosting a range of performances and events.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Big Top exteriorThe Big Top exterior (Image: Julian Winslow)

Jack Whitewood, creative and development director at Ventnor Exchange, explained: “We want to re-imagine what a theatre or arts centre can be. 

“This will be a new town hall for the whole of the Isle of Wight, ensuring every community can have access to an amazing facility. 

“Working with local residents from the outset, together we’ll decide what this new venue is called, how it's used and where it visits. 

“Local ownership of this key piece of infrastructure will also help secure the long-term future of Ventnor Fringe.”

Megan Stisted, creative projects manager at Ventnor Exchange, added: “We’re incredibly excited about the opportunities this will create for our Brave Island programme, which supports young people on the Isle of Wight with new training, placements and work opportunities. 

“From circus skills to gig nights, new on-stage and backstage roles will be created, and we will have a phenomenal new space-based right here on the Island to train young people with.”