Community interest company (CIC) created chaired by Melvin Benn
Stakeholders from arts community in Reading informed and first forum takes place
Feasibility study commissioned from experts Charcoalblue
Feasibility study identifies several sites but not Reading gaol site as too complicated due to Hidden Abbey project to try to locate Henry 1’s body and other structural issues
TAR continues talks with Arts Council, developers, local authority and regional bodies
Council agrees The Hexagon will be replaced and starts procurement process
Brief drawn up for an official process to find a partner as council commits to giving land for the new theatre, referencing TAR as doing groundwork
Another forum for arts community held to outline TAR’s vision for theatre and its facilities
TAR gives expression of interest for council procurement process
Council policy committee backs keeping The Hexagon going after procurement process reveals no theatre operator who applied said they could run a theatre without a council subsidy.
TAR invites the Trafalgar Entertainment Group to do a visit to the town to see the gaol site. Although unable to get access the groups viewed from Barton Willmore’s offices
TAR announces a £20k grant from Arts Council England (ACE) with match funding from Festival Republic and contribution from Trafalgar Entertainment to commission architects Foster Wilson to do a feasibility study on gaol site
Feasibility study by architects Foster Wilson undertaken.
Reading Borough Council's Policy Committee agrees with TAR's Vision of Opportunities for the gaol site and agrees to look at joining the gtrust to be formed to run the site if a bid is successful.
A forum is held in May hosted by TAR chairman Melvin Benn, Tony Page and the University of Reading.
Charitable objects for the trust are drawn up in consultation with council, university and TAR
The local Labour Party manifesto pledges support for the gaol to be an arts hub
BDB Pitmans works on Charities Commission submission and submission sent in June
TAR talks to businesses in the newly formed Abbey BID Quarter, seeking their support.
TAR supports MP Matt Rodda's campaign to save the gaol from being sold to the highest bidder
Chairman Melvin Benn writes to new prisons minister Robert Buckland and Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright
TAR continues to talk to potential developers
TAR meets prisons minister Robert Buckland, organised by Alok Sharma MP
Reading Borough Council agrees to submit a bid for Reading Gaol and TAR will not bid against them. TAR hands over its finished bid brochure to help the council formulate a bid
The original TAR board of (l to r) Toby Davies, Andrew Cumpsty, Andy Murrill, Trish Steinhardt, Melvin Benn
The TAR board today - Melvin Benn, Sally Swift, Tim Burrage, Toby Davies, Trish Steinhardt