Planning permission was granted on 5 February 2019.
Downlands Community School would like to develop an open-air theatre on the school site called HOPS (Hassocks Outdoor Performance Space). The school currently has no such facility apart from the school assembly hall. The facility would be used during the school day for music, drama, & dance lessons & after school by music, arts, drama clubs. We hold a weeklong literary festival each summer for students, parents & the community & the recitals and activities relating to this would take place in the open-air theatre. Students would use the space at break & lunchtimes for relaxation, eating & listening to recitals. The space would enable the school to extend it’s offer of evening performances to parents & the community. There is nothing like this in the local area that provides the opportunity to enjoy the creative arts in the open air.
What we'll deliver:
- Build an outdoor performance space for student and community use.
- Hold music, theatre, dance, drama events for students and the local community.
Why it's a great idea:
In an environment where government funding for state schools is being drastically cut and many school have been forced to focus on the academic curriculum, the Downlands School Association would like to support the school in it’s mission to actively promote the creative arts at school. Having just finished construction of a brand new Dance Studio with the financial support of Sport England/National Lottery and West Sussex County Council, which is being used by Dance students in the school and by dance schools from outside the school, we would like to provide further opportunities for students to show case creative arts. The school has an excellent Creative Arts department; there are regular Art Exhibitions, whole school performances and music concerts. We would like to encourage the students at Downlands to work collaboratively with local creative art providers and showcase the collaborative work in the amphitheatre.
Steps to get it done:
- Engage Nick Dexter of nd studio as Project Manager to oversee construction.
- Appoint construction company - quotes have already been obtained.
- Official VIP event to open HOPS
- Community Event to celebrate creation of HOPS.