Thanks to funding from Camborne Town Deal, Create CIC has completed the purchase of the Donald Thomas Centre, an iconic grade 2* listed Greek Revival building in the centre of Camborne.
The centre is being transformed into Camborne Contemporary Crafts Hub – one of eight projects supported by the Government’s Town Deal fund across the town. The hub offers courses, equipment hire and workshops in ceramics, fused glass, and jewellery.
Donald Thomas was a local businessman and philanthropist who gifted the building to the people of Camborne in the 1960s. Until 2017 it was used as a day centre for older people.
“Donald Thomas would be so proud to see it being restored and preserved for future generations of Camborne residents,” said Jean Charman, Chair of the Camborne Community Centre Trust. “As trustees of the Community Centre, we’re delighted to see such an important part of our town’s history and heritage in safe hands, with wonderful work being done here.
“The building dates from the early 1800s and, because of that, needs a lot of work. If Create CIC hadn’t come along, it would have fallen into disrepair as we didn’t have the money to save it.”
Previously used as a literary institute, a museum, a church and even as a gymnasium for the Camborne School of Mines, the Donald Thomas Centre has a rich and fascinating history.
“We fell in love with this building the first time we came here,” said Create CIC Director Jane Smith. “Now we want to write its next chapter and transform it into a centre of modern-day learning for the people of Camborne.”
The Camborne Town Deal funding awarded to Create CIC has been partially match-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Community Led Local Development (CLLD) programme to renovate the building.
The new creative co-working space, community crafts library, and exhibition space will be open in April 2023, with the new ceramics, glass and jewellery studios following later in the year and in 2024.
Camborne has been allocated £23.7 million in Towns Deal Funding by the Government and a further £750,000 from the Town Deal Accelerated Fund.