Hadleigh Old Fire Station was purchased by Essex County Council in 2010 with a view to creating a vibrant cultural and community hub that would serve as a focal point in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as part of the Legacy in the local area following the Games.
The facility contains studios for 15 artists, allowing locally-based artists to develop their practice as well as offices for community groups based in the area. The ‘Appliance Hall’ – where fire engines were once kept - has been converted into a large, multi-use space with attached kitchen and accessible toilet, which is now available for any community groups in the area to hire for meetings, sports activities, events and exhibitions.
Artists' work has been on display in the Fire Station since March 2011 from London 2012 inspired initatives including Hadleigh Art Trail, Essex Summer of Art and Art Baton Relay and Journey to the Podium.
Hadleigh Old Fire Station is a great example of how people can join together to create a real legacy from the Games for their community.
In March 2011 Essex County Council undertook a full refurbishment of HOFS, in conjunction with Castle Point Regeneration Partnership along with funding from the Homes and Communities Agency. Following this, Essex County Council appointed the Association for Cultural Advancement through Visual Art (ACAVA), an educational and arts charity, to manage the Hadleigh Old Fire Station as an arts and community cultural centre.