The Hurst Renovation
Arvon has ambitious plans to transform The Hurst into our flagship centre
The Hurst, John Osborne’s former home in Shropshire, has been one of our writing centres since 2004, and over 4000 people have already experienced our life-changing courses there.
At present, we are able to use only a small amount of the 26 acre site. The Manor House, where John and Helen Osborne lived, lies at the heart of the estate. Many of the rooms in the Manor House, including John Osborne’s atmospheric study and the farmhouse kitchen (scene of his last play, Déjà Vu) have been uninhabited for almost a decade, since Helen Osborne’s death.
Arvon has never had the resources to convert the Manor House for our use, and we work primarily in the converted stable block, the Clockhouse. Dereliction happens so quickly once a house is unlived in, even with responsible care-taking, and John Osborne's great home is now on the cusp of shifting from a great and literary backdrop to a considerable liability.
By renovating the building and using this space more effectively, we will create ideal facilities for our work with schools and youth and community groups. Many of those we work with are from the most disadvantaged communities in the UK and we know that Arvon’s impact on these groups is particularly profound. We will be able to double our work with these groups at The Hurst. We will also move our writing courses into the Manor House, so that all of Arvon’s writers will benefit from the improved facilities.
We are now fundraising to save the Manor House and transform The Hurst, with two phases of development planned. If you could help please contact us on email@example.com or 020 7324 2554.
What will happen in Phase 1?
The first priority is to rescue the Manor House. The newly developed building will offer:
• Large spaces for workshops and tutorials in the main reception rooms, with beautiful views of the Shropshire countryside
• New cooking and dining spaces in John Osborne’s own kitchen
• Single, ensuite study bedrooms for all guests
Thanks to an exceptional grant from Arts Council England, and the support of many others, we are now more than 90% of the way towards the £2.25 million needed for Phase 1. However, we urgently need the support of Arvon’s friends and community to ensure that we can overcome the final hurdle and save the Manor House.
What will happen in Phase 2?
In Phase 2 we will transform the Clockhouse into a writers’ retreat, allowing us to welcome established and emerging writers from around the world to The Hurst for longer periods. Visiting writers will be able to work on substantial projects in the inspirational surroundings of The Hurst.
When The Hurst opens in full, it will offer transformational opportunities to nearly 1000 young, aspiring and established writers every year.
We are hugely grateful all those who have so generously supported The Hurst Renovation. Please visit our Supporters page for full details.