Fairground Craft & Design Centre
The Fairground Craft and Design Centre, previously run by Penton Grafton Parish Council, first opened its doors in Weyhill, Hampshire in October 2003. Open to the public, it is now a Community Interest Company, run by volunteers and tenants for the benefit of the community.
Community Interest Companies (CICs) are limited companies, with special additional features, created for the use of people who want to conduct a business or other activity for community benefit and not purely for private advantage. There are less than 2000 CICs and only a few in Hampshire. The Fairground CIC is the first in the local area.
A vibrant community, it offers economic studio and retail space for artists and makers, as well as a delightfully light and airy gallery, a tearoom and a large community hall, all within the embrace of historic chalk walls.
The Gallery mixes an exciting and varied programme of exhibitions, with the offer of rental space to individual artists and also to groups for their own exhibitions. The combination of those exhibitions plus the range of quality work to be found in the studios, gives a real opportunity for public enjoyment and purchase of a huge variety of highly creative and very individual work.
Still a very young organisation, the Craft Centre now aims to increase involvement in community projects, interacting with all age groups and backgrounds, promoting the practice and appreciation of the arts in general. In 2008 The Fairground CIC revived the Michaelmas Fair, which was once known as the 'greatest fair in the Kingdom' with over 70,000 sheep, cheese, hops and a pleasure fair. The fair has continued and is usually held over the last weekend in September each year. It is a showpiece for traditional country crafts and also celebrates Weyhill's history and literary attachments. Unfortunately we will not be holding a Michaelmas Fair in 2013 due to site refurbishments.