TRANSFORMING FOR ALL
An established and valued community business and registered charity, Coda is now seeking to diversify its services by transforming dilapidated agricultural buildings at our home into dynamic community assets to provide a vibrant, creative space for people of all ages and abilities.
The new spaces will be enjoyed by hundreds of people of all ages and abilities each week:
A home to artists making professional work in dedicated studios and inspiring an exhibition programme featuring local, national and international practitioners;
A wide ranging programme of educational activities, skills development and training, including art classes for children and workshops for adults;
A clinical and participatory programme using the arts as a tool for therapy, health and well being;
And a space for local people and groups to host a wide range of events.
Coda is a unique organisation locally, engaging people of all ages and all abilities, truly inclusive and responsive. It is one of the few charities in the region working across education, health and cultural sectors and as such its work is in ever increasing demand.
Through its programmes Coda transforms lives, both young and old, by enabling creative participation on a universal scale. In a region marked by low cultural engagement, Coda’s programmes engage c.50,000 people annually with music activity.
The charity owns and occupies a two-acre farm-site on the edge of the New Forest in Dorset and, over the past two decades, has converted a range of former farm buildings in response to growing demand for its activities. From this base, it delivers a range of programmes focused on two key themes:
- Music Education and Learning
- Music for Health and Wellbeing
The Coda Site
Coda is situated on a two-acre site on the Dorset and New Forest borders in Christchurch. Our home, a former model farm dating from the 1850s with a blend of early Victorian brick buildings, barns and green fields has been subject to four small phases of development and now hosts the region’s only dedicated music therapy centre, twelve dedicated spaces for playing and learning music, state of the art recording studios (in partnership with platinum selling writers and producers, Red Triangle Productions), and a cafe and social space for our users.
Purchased in 2005, with a bank loan and a grant from Arts Council England, the site offers a rare opportunity to create an inspirational mix of services – commercial, social, and inclusive – and acts as a unique beacon in the region for the creative and cultural sectors.
The site is one of Coda’s strongest assets and offers tremendous opportunity and potential for expansion and growth. However, over 300 square metres of dilapidated farm buildings lie decaying and empty.
It is our ambition to create a shining beacon for cultural creativity at our home in order to provide more opportunity for people to engage in, and benefit from, creativity at a time when it is most in need.
This project seeks support to convert these old agricultural buildings into new vibrant, creative spaces for people of all ages and abilities for the long term, and, in the short term to help rebuild our communities following the Covid pandemic. The new facilities will enable Coda to extend the charity’s offer of music tuition, classes, workshops, group music making and therapy into new and broader fields of artistic practice creating a new centre for everyday creativity.
Over the past 20 years Coda has become an essential local resource for music in the area, providing high quality learning opportunities and an award-winning programme of services to support the health and well-being of hundreds of people every week through music.
The local community has shaped Coda’s goals and services for more than two decades. Over the years new priorities and programmes have grown in response to local needs and our activities emerge from, and are sustained by, demand from the local community.
The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the broader value of creativity in people’s lives and the need to bring these fundamental human pursuits back into our communities and this project aims to respond to this new demand and Coda’s commitment to inclusivity with diversity, disability and a mission to making a positive difference to people’s lives lie at the heart of this project.