By Francesca Ter-Berg, co-founder of the Cliftonville Cultural Space.
In December 2020 a group of local residents saved the Margate Synagogue from being sold at auction, largely due to the support of the local community, shops, arts organisations and venues, local artists and local and national press.
Following a Crowdfunding campaign, at the final hour, an anonymous benefactor stepped in to buy the building, ensuring it will be turned into a cultural space to benefit local residents whilst preserving the building’s Jewish heritage.
The newly named Cliftonville Cultural Space (CCS) will be housed in the former Synagogue (now deconsecrated), which was built in 1928. If you haven’t noticed it yet, it’s located between the corner of Godwin Road and Albion Road.
Our vision is to convert the building into an inclusive, accessible, cross-cultural, multi arts hub, which will reflect the diverse communities of the neighbourhood. The building was originally built for community gathering, celebration and music, with a large central space. There will also be artists’ facilities and meeting rooms for workshops and educational programmes.
We will host a varied and exciting programme of innovative local, national and international music, theatre and dance in the converted space; as well as exhibitions, film, talks and workshops. Food will be central to our ethos, with a welcoming, affordable cafe catering for all cultures and generations.
We want to include as many views and voices as possible in shaping this new organisation and will therefore be talking to a wide range of people over the next few months. We will let you know more about these upcoming community consultations via post and online shortly – once funding is secured. Please keep an eye on our socials for announcements about this.
We are really excited to be part of Cliftonville’s cultural life and would like to thank GRASS for their support. It’s great to see community rooted enterprise and initiative at the heart of Cliftonville’s regeneration movement, so that we can all take ownership of the future of the area and make sure it benefits everyone. Cliftonville Cultural Space will be intrinsic to the flourishing future of Cliftonville, and we need your help to make the project a success.