The Bridgwater Town Deal investment fund has enabled charity Somerset Film to take ownership of the building know locally as The Engine Room from former landlords Sedgemoor District Council.
Since 2003, The Engine Room has been a community media centre, operated by the charity.
Somerset Film is dedicated to empowering people through film and digital technology and operates a countywide programme of activity from its base in Bridgwater High Street.
Phil Shepherd, one of the founders of Somerset Film said: “It was 20 years on March 14 2023, since we opened The Engine Room!
“The plan was to set-up a creative media centre on Bridgwater High Street, offering production facilities and expertise and a welcome to everyone who walked through the doors.
“Resources like The Engine Room didn’t really exist back then and I remember on the opening day waiting with bated breath to see if anyone would come in!
“But come in they did and over the years many thousands of people have got involved. It’s been their collective energies and enthusiasm that have made The Engine Room a success, as much as the work of our brilliant crew, freelancers, trustees and supporters.”
Paul Moore, Chairman of the Bridgwater Town Deal Board, said: “Somerset Film has been an important part of the cultural landscape of Bridgwater and beyond for 20 years now, providing an accessible media centre that brings film and digital technology to residents of all ages and backgrounds.
“Through the Bridgwater Town Deal funding, we’re delighted to support their ambitions for the future which will boost the digital opportunities and cultural offering within this dynamic town.
“Together, the town deal projects are set to bring £23.2million investment into Bridgwater, creating a vibrant and welcoming town centre, revitalising our social, cultural and economic offerings, and unlocking future growth.
“Having worked behind the scenes on these projects for so long, it’s really exciting to see things starting to happen in the town as these inspiring plans are brought to life.”
The remainder of the town deal investment will be used to make changes to the existing building including completing a new top floor space, installing solar panels and changes to the ground floor. The full vision for changes to the building can be seen in an animated fly through created by one of the charity’s trustees, Nathanael Williams. The fly through can be seen on YouTube.com/somersetfilm