The Rising Sun Arts Centre on Silver Street has had a long and varied career. The architect Alfred Waterhouse built it for his wife in 1877, after which it was leased to the nearby church of St Giles as a Temperance Tavern.
The building hosted a boy’s school for a while and fell into disrepair in the 1930s. It became a farm shop for several decades after the war before becoming disused, and thence was occupied by artists in 1990. It has since become one of the least formal and most colourful cultural centres in Reading.
The volunteers who maintain this grade II listed building plan to refurbish the building’s exterior and are looking for help from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Reading Borough Council. The centre also gets income from the rent of the terraced houses next door, which it owns.
The Rising Sun Arts Centre Ltd is now a registered charity and hosts arts and entertainment events throughout the year. The centre will be holding a birthday celebration in 2016, marking its 25th year as a cultural centre.
Rooms can be booked for other functions and the centre is interested in supporting the local community. They are looking for volunteers who can help with anything from graphic design to gardening.