Work has begun on transforming a former park keeper’s house in Barrow into a nationally recognised centre for sound art and new music organisation, Full of Noises (FON).
Piel View House in Barrow Park has been FON’s base since 2011 but the Edwardian building has seen better days so it is being redeveloped, thanks to support from Arts Council England, The Sir John Fisher Foundation and owners, Barrow Borough Council.
The first phase, due to be completed in June, includes a new ground floor extension to provide a 40 capacity performance and project space as well as a reception and offices. This space has been designed precisely for high quality acoustics and will provide a new hub for FON’s ongoing activities in the park.
Improvements outside are also being made to create areas usable during residencies, performances and projects. New resurfaced paths and ramps will allow full accessibility to the terrace and rear entrance, building on the house’s connection with the walled garden that provides another link to the rest of the park.
“We’re very excited that the redevelopment of our studio space is now underway and look forward to welcoming back old audiences and new when Piel View House re-opens this summer,” said FON’s artistic director, Glenn Boulter.
FON’s base in Barrow Park has transformed the way in which the organisation engages with audiences as it uses park locations for events, offering new experiences for audiences.
Once completed, the redevelopment will allow FON to base their programme entirely within the park with the new project and performance space hosting regular events including workshops, exhibitions, concerts and talks.
Piel View House will become a more flexible hub for sound artists and musicians based in the Furness area and Cumbria, providing access to the venue to develop work and to meet fellow creatives and peers.
It will allow international and local artists to collaborate, develop new skills and potentially reach national audiences through performances, digital networks and workshops.
Since starting life in the former canteen building at Barrow shipyard in 2009, FON have produced more than 100 events including six biennial festivals showcasing new work by more than 200 artists.
The £640,000 redevelopment project at Piel View House is being delivered by Barrow-based Leck Construction and has been designed by Leeds Environmental Design Associates (LEDA).
LEDA were chosen for their expertise and dedication to creating sustainable buildings so plans have been developed with environmental sustainability at the forefront.
Piel View House is a well-loved feature of Barrow Park and FON is keen to discover more about its history, especially from people who had a direct connection to the building in any era. Email your memories to firstname.lastname@example.org or post on FON’s social media (see links at fonfestival.org)