Where it all began
Formerly the local village school (1847 – 1966), our building is steeped in history and something of a landmark on Cranleigh’s high street.
The organisation was founded in 1978 when a number of local community groups – including The Photographic Society, The Film Society, The Arts Society, Cranleigh Players, Adult Education and a local pottery group – came together to lease the disused Victorian school building from Waverley Borough Council. Their founding principle “to enrich, entertain and inspire” remains our mission today.
Under the Chairmanship of Jack Wagg, plans were drawn up to develop and extend the premises. This was expedited by Catherine Pike in the ’90s, culminating in major work in 1997/8 with the aid of Lottery money and other grants. Our multi-purpose auditorium was added to the premises and the rest of the building stylishly refurbished. Over the last twenty years, we have continued to enhance the facilities for our visitors and maintain our heritage building for the community.
Cranleigh Arts Centre is a registered charity (no. 284186) and a company limited by guarantee. It is governed by a board of Trustees appointed by Members who represent the local community. Waverley Borough Council and Cranleigh Parish Council are also involved as observers at Board level. Originally run by volunteers, Cranleigh Arts still only employs a team of four staff with many operations still undertaken by members of the local community. Volunteers play a vital role within the arts centre and are fundamental to our success and sustainability.
To find out more and get involved, volunteer with us.
As Cranleigh changes and grows so too do our ambitions, with new programme strands, artistic activities and initiatives to provide for our diverse community. We are open and fully accessible 46 weeks a year, five days a week, mornings, afternoons and evenings.