April 25, 2019
Newton’s Place is the exciting £2m project to restore and convert the former St Leonard’s Church into an accessible and improved town museum, town hall and community space.
This is one of the most forward-looking developments in recent times in Newton Abbot, Teignbridge’s largest town. A key function of the building will be as an Arts Centre and young people in the town were involved at an early stage. With joint-funding of £5000 each from Historic England and The Helen Foundation, over 400 children in 7 schools in the town worked throughout last year, alongside adult groups, to create 12 large graphic panels.
Each panel illustrates a key aspect of the town’s past, from the Stone Age to the 21st century, including such events as the English Civil War, the coming of the Great Western Railway and the Suffrage Movement. Displayed on the builders’ hoarding surrounding the church, these all-weather panels were recently unveiled by Newton Abbot Mayor, Ken Purchase, with BBC coverage.
This was a brilliant project! Congratulations to all the young people and artists involved, and to Katy Bennie, Education Officer of Newton Abbot Museum who led the venture.
All involved hope to create a phase 2 project starting this year.