Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre will open its new car park this week, after a month of work by JLES contractors to completely redesign the area. The car park now includes a safe minibus parking area, separate drop off and pick up point for taxis and designated visitor spaces.
Every week over 150 art makers attend the Centre, which offers a tailored programme of creative, wellbeing and employability workshops to support people with disabilities to realise their full potential. Many art makers travel in by minibus or taxi, which can create a very busy environment as vehicles drop off and pick up during key times of the day.
Ken Prow has been coming to the Arts & Crafts Centre for 18 years. He said:
Before, I used to stand right up against the wall to keep out of the way of all the cars. Now with the new system it’s going to be much safer. The floor surface feels smoother too, which will make it easier for me to find my way around using my long cane.
Kerry Marshall, who attends the Centre once a week added:
It will be safer for me to arrive by taxi now so I can carry on enjoying my workshops at the centre and I don’t have to worry.
The new layout will also allow the Centre to make sure spaces are available for visitors to use, as Maria Dawbarn, Centre Manager explains:
We’ve had a few issues in the past with dogs running straight across the car park and causing a trip hazard for our art makers. We want our art makers to feel safe in this space so we’re asking local residents to please respect the fact that the car park is for our customers and art makers. We’re a really welcoming centre and we’d love people to come in and see us – we just ask that you pick up a car parking permit from our café on your way in to help us monitor car park use.
Russ Hitchin, director of JLES Northern added:
The team at Henshaws have been fantastic throughout our works programme and without a doubt have made the job a pleasure for JLES to be involved with. The car park is just how we envisaged it to look and we are proud of the fact that the new layout will bring more visitors to the arts and crafts centre whilst being a safer place to be.
The car park has been completed just in time for the start of the Centre’s autumn and winter event programme, which includes family scarecrow making workshops, a Halloween craft fair and their free Fright Fest music festival. Full details are online at www.henshawsacc.org.uk