One of the UK’s leading community dance organisations and charity, Cardiff based Rubicon Dance, has announced it will be taking over the former Roath Library building to accommodate its ambitious growth plans to expand its work in the community.
Rubicon Dance, which is based in Adamsdown and is funded by the Arts Council for Wales, has provided community dance activities across South Wales for over 40 years, with existing community studios in Adamsdown. The organisation provides dance sessions in community centres, schools, day centres, hospitals and community venues across Cardiff, Newport and Penarth.
By extending their work further, the organisation plans to re-open Roath Library as part of their expansion next autumn.
The group submitted a successful proposal to Cardiff Council last year to take on the running of the former Roath Library building and secured a Community Asset Transfer.
Rubicon Dance plan to create a dance centre with at least three dance studios, one of which will also provide an informal performance space. They will run accredited learning activities in the building for dance studies as well as a new open programme for the community, including provision for those with disabilities, the elderly, children and young people.
The new facilities will allow Rubicon to offer an increased programme of diverse community dance classes and improved facilities for their group of Full Time Learners who study a BTEC Level 3 in dance.
As well as the building offering a new home for the group’s exciting new dance facilities, Rubicon want to ensure that they offer the wider community a shared space by providing an informal meeting place for local people and Cardiff’s independent dance sector, in addition to the new studios, offering them free wifi, meeting rooms and bookable hot desks.
There will be an investment of around £2m in the building and the new facility is anticipated to open in September 2019.
The local community-serving library, which is situated on Newport Rd, Cardiff, has been closed since November 2014 on health and safety grounds due to significant long-standing repair and maintenance issues that rendered the building unfit for public use. Since its closure, there has been much protest against the property being sold off to private investors. The acquisition of this building by a well-known Cardiff charity will mean that the building will reopen for community use for the benefit of local residents.
Director of Rubicon Dance, Kathryn Williams said: “We are delighted to have been successful with our proposal for breathing new life into Roath Library. After searching for a suitable new property in the city for many years, this seemed like the perfect option for us, with it being so close to our existing home.
“Securing this particular building means we can grow our organisation in line with our community-focused philosophy and it will allow us once again to give back to the community, by ensuring the former library building is open for community activities. We believe that good quality community spaces and facilities are integral to Cardiff, and we are happy that we can offer this provision with our new studio.
“This year we will be working towards our £2 million fundraising target by holding many different events and activities and working with our various partners, including architects, funders, users, community groups and neighbours to ensure that the Roath Library project is a success.
“The entire Rubicon team is extremely grateful to Cardiff Council for agreeing to the Community Asset Transfer, and for this significant investment in the community of Adamsdown and community dance in general across the city.”
It is set to be busy year for Rubicon, as well as the regeneration of the library, the organisation has also recently been shortlisted for a prestigious Cardiff Life Arts award, and Rubicon Dance Training and Mentoring Leader, Tracey Brown, has also have been shortlisted for the Employee of the Year Award in the Biz Growth South Wales Awards.
To follow Rubicon’s progress and news of their fundraising activities, please follow their Twitter and Facebook. For more information, please visit: http://www.rubicondance.co.uk/