Dance organisation Jasmin Vardimon Company has announced plans to move into its own premises in Kent, which will include education and training facilities as well as a performance space.
Planning permission was granted last week for the purpose-built premises in Ashford, and the dance-theatre company has now announced that Arts Council England has given the project a grant of more than £3 million in National Lottery funding.
Led by choreographer Jasmin Vardimon, the company has been based in Kent for the past seven years, but will move into the £9.1 million “self-financing, energy-efficient, bespoke” space in September 2020.
The company said it would enable it to develop its artistic model, education and outreach work into the future, allowing it to improve financial resilience and contribute more to the local economy.
Vardimon said: “This is a significant and hugely exciting step forward towards the realisation of my long-held dream for the Jasmin Vardimon Company. Since founding the company in 1998, it has always been my ambition to develop a creative hub, an environment in which to research, create, produce and educate.
“A laboratory for multi-disciplinary artistic study and creative research, where we can provide dancers with development programmes that enables them to engage with the physical, emotional, intellectual and technical aspects of the work. Today we are a huge step closer to that.”
Jasmin Vardimon Company’s home will be part of a wider scheme put forward by Kent County Council, which includes 29 light industrial units, the proceeds from which will help to make the dance premises self-financing.
The development will also include spaces for start-up companies and emerging creatives, in addition to facilities for training courses and community classes.
It will also be available for the wider industry for visiting companies to showcase new work.
In addition to the Arts Council funding, the South East Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed to a £1.6 million loan from the Growing Places fund.
Hedley Swain, Arts Council area director for the South East, said: “The new home will not only enable Jasmin and her team to stretch the organisation’s artistic ambitions, but also its work with the local community and support for emerging talent. The investment from Kent County Council is hugely welcome and reflects how important arts and culture is to their ambitions for the county. I look forward to seeing this development become a hub of creativity in Kent.”