Project information

The Orangery - The Big Secret

To develop Beam's home, The Orangery, Wakefield to become a vibrant and exciting multi-use arts venue and resource for the people of the city and visitors, contributing to Wakefield's growing cultural offer.

1 year

Charity information

Public Arts (trading as Beam)

Public Arts (trading as Beam) logo
  • Need


    The Orangery, a grade II* listed building, offers great potential as a venue in the heart of the city, but recent re-development in the city has resulted in poor access and visibility of the site.
    Recent cuts in public funding will mean that to ensure the property is available for future generations, The Orangery needs to generate income as a multi-arts venue, with improved access and facilities for community and business users.
    Wakefield's Big Secret needs to be shared widely.


    Our 2010-2011 programme, 'The Secret Garden', has allowed us to take steps to animate the garden with music and art. Our programme in 2012 will develop ideas and lessons from The Secret Garden and apply them to the main building.
    We want to animate the public spaces in the garden and gallery area - using our arts and cultural heritage - to create spaces that people want to hire for pleasure, for work, and to perform in.
    Our activities will create both a physical and virtual front door!

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Create a season of events at The Orangery - music, cinema, visual arts, literature.


    » To reconfigure and improve the spaces at The Orangery so that they can accommodate multiple uses and be more welcoming to visitors.
    » Commission creative responses to the setting that generate interest and intrigue in The Orangery.
    » 'Orangery Wednesday & Saturday' a season of activities for all sectors of the community that create a reason for visiting The Orangery.
    » Develop a programme of wider engagement through school visits and the establishment of a volunteer group.

    Success will be a programme of activity, one event per week from March to September, accessed by a wider segment of the community. There will also be increased commercial activity.

  • Impact


    The long term aim is to develop income streams to allow The Orangery to be self financing.
    Decreased demand for the facilities by the public sector during the current economic climate, means that we need to improve the quality and diversity of our offer.
    The aim is that through our activity in making The Orangery a place to be, that the trading arm will be able to generate incomes to cover day to day running costs and provide additional funds for Beam to undertake its charitable objectives.


    This project is not being undertaken in isolation with other activities carried out by the organisation - and there is a risk of there being insufficient resources.
    The programme though has the full backing of the Board of Trustees and the Senior Management Team and is seen as a key project in ensuring the company can continue to be custodians of The Orangery for future generations and that the activity taking place broadcasts and exemplifies the aims of the organisation.


    Donors to this project will receive a monthly email report detailing progress with the project and providing information on forthcoming activities at The Orangery.
    In addition donors will be invited to attend an event during 2012.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £16,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £10,000 Cultural Programme Orangery Wednesday & Saturday. Part funding of programme.
      £6,000 Preservation & Improvement to Works to improve access and quality of the facilities.
  • Background


    The 200 year-old Orangery is in the centre of Wakefield. Beam bought the building and gardens 13 years ago, and regeneration around the site presents a unique opportunity to reposition the grade II* listed building and gardens in the hearts of the community.
    A former mining area and administrative centre for West Yorkshire, the city has aspirations to become a cultural destination, particularly in relation to the visual arts.


    Beam are the current custodians of The Orangery, and our mission is to create great places for people to live, work and play in.
    We will increase the enjoyment of citizens and visitors to the city, both now and for future generations, by programming events and installations, indoors and outside, to engage and delight - creating a place for people.
    The large mixed use development and, soon to be redeveloped, mainline station in the area, will be enhanced by their association with The Orangery.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Orangery has been the base for Beam for 13 years, and in that time we have undertaken a series of events and installations in the garden. This has shown us the current limitations with the site but also inspired us to consider what would be possible and the enjoyment that we could bring to the wider community.

    We want to create at The Orangery an exemplar of our work as an arts and architecture centre.

    The Orangery is also key to the future financial stability of the organisation.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Robert Powell

    Robert is Creative Director of Beam, and our champion for all that The Orangery could be in supporting our vision for great places.

    Stephen Dolman

    As our Managing Director, Stephen has a key role to play in ensuring that The Orangery is financially supportive of all of our work.

    Fran Smith

    Frances has recently taken on the role of Orangery Development & Marketing, and is interested in widening the offer at The Orangery and its audience.

The Orangery, Wakefield

The Orangery, Wakefield