Joy Di­vi­sion blow as build­ing sold

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRIT­TON

PLANS to cre­ate a per­ma­nent Joy Di­vi­sion ex­hi­bi­tion in the town have been dealt a ma­jor blow af­ter a failed bid for fund­ing.

It has now been re­vealed that the pro­posed venue for the dis­play - Charles Roe House - has been sold to a pri­vate bid­der who will turn it into a GP surgery.

But it is hoped there will still be room for a Joy Di­vi­sion ex­hibit with plans for an arts cafe on the sec­ond floor.

Arts group In­cu­ba­tion Arts hoped to buy the listed build­ing on Ch­ester­gate, which was home to Mac­cles­field en­tre­pre­neur Charles Roe, and con­vert it into an arts hub and ex­hi­bi­tion to cel­e­brate Joy Di­vi­sion’s link to the town.

But a grant bid to Her­itage Lottery Fund has been knocked back, leav­ing the am­bi­tious plans with an un­cer­tain fu­ture.

Julie Hamer, from In­cu­ba­tion Arts, said she was ‘dis­mayed’ to learn the grant had been re­fused but said it will be re­garded as a ‘set-back’.

She said: “In­cu­ba­tion Arts, hav­ing been so suc­cess­ful with arts and cul­tural ex­hi­bi­tions and events over the past three years, were dis­mayed to learn last month that the Her­itage Lottery Fund had de­clined its ap­pli­ca­tion to sup­port In­cu­ba­tion’s aims with Charles Roe House.

“We’re fundrais­ing and look­ing for a new venue and hope any­one with ideas will as­sist us.”

The pre­vi­ous owner, Martin McMillan, had been al­low­ing In­cu­ba­tion Arts to use the build­ing for shows and ex­hi­bi­tions and sup­ported the bid for a Joy Di­vi­sion ex­hi­bi­tion.

But with­out the grant he has de­cided to sell the build­ing.

Ian Pinches, who owns business con­sul­tancy Cam­bio group with a base in Mac­cles­field, and his GP wife Stephanie, bought the house and plans to cre­ate a pri­vate GP surgery on the ground floor and use it for of­fice space.

Ian, who lives in Wha­ley Bridge, told the Ex­press he will also cre­ate an art cafe on the sec­ond floor, and is in talks with Julie about run­ning arts events – and this could still in­clude a Joy Di­vi­sion ex­hi­bi­tion.

Ian said: “The prop­erty has been on the mar­ket for years and peo­ple may have been put off by the fact it’s listed, but we feel it’s a won­der­ful build­ing in­te­gral to the char­ac­ter of Mac­cles­field.

“We want to keep Charles Roe House ac­ces­si­ble to the pub­lic with an art cafe, which can fea­ture lo­cal artists.

“The Joy Di­vi­sion ex­hi­bi­tion may not be as grand as be­fore but we can come up with a plan where Charles Roe House re­mains a place for the arts and a ma­jor part of Mac­cles­field’s her­itage.”

Martin McMillan, deputy chair­man of the Halle or­ches­tra, has owned the build­ing since 1978.

He said: “I have a soft spot for Charles Roe and am part­ing with it with sad­ness but hope it can re­main an arts and cul­tural build­ing.”

●● Ian Pinches in front Charles Roe House

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