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Project information

The Sunbeams Music Centre

Construct a bespoke Music Therapy centre in Cumbria for disabled & disadvantaged children & adults. A permanent base for the trust, it will comprise: therapy rooms; performance spaces; recording studio; sensory garden; administrative and training facilities. A sustainable legacy for disabled people.

Build time: 14 months

Charity information: Annie Mawson's Sunbeams Music Trust

Annie Mawson's Sunbeams Music Trust logo
  • Need


    Sunbeams currently provides therapeutic community music workshops in 42 regular venues each month to 1,047 different people of all ages with a wide range of special needs (incl: Down's syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Cystic Fibrosis, learning difficulties, mental health problems, dementia, Alzheimer's, physical disabilities & complex medical needs). Sunbeams aim is to improve the health and quality of life of more people in Cumbria & the UK through the creative & healing power of music.


    The centre will enable Sunbeams to increase our capacity to meet the growing demand for sessions & training, improve facilities & expand out capabilities, provide a purpose-built facility to deliver music therapy & qualifications to disabled and disadvantaged people; create a centre of learning and research for music therapists & establish a base for greater fiscal security for Sunbeams. It will also enable us to increase resilience and sustainability through reducing reliance on funding.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To construct the Sunbeams Music Centre to create a sustainable legacy for people with disabilities


    » On-going community fund-raising, events, concerts, grant applications, private donations and philanthropic support

    What success will look like

    We will show that we can sustain all current services & expand to serve additional disabled people, in response to demand. Success will be self-evident, supported by evaluation.

  • Impact


    The centre will not only become a sustainable legacy for disabled people, but will also become a major cultural and community resource for Cumbria. It will allow us to increase economic capacity through new and creative income streams, increase the Trust's resilience and sustainability and reduce reliance on funding by self-generate income, ensuring fiscal security.
    Most important will be the changes made to the lives of the individuals we work with - each of which will be personal and unique.


    A full Risk Assessment of the Project has been completed, analysing likelihood and impact of potential risks around the construction of the centre, and the correct mitigation for each circumstance.


    Funders will receive donor reports, personal reports from Annie and the Trustees, as well as an Annual Report, e-mails, on-going information on the build and invitations to events, concerts and and fund-raisers.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £1,990,197

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £284,497 RIBA Stage A - Stage D Planning and Preliminaries
      £187,526 Professional Fees Professional Fees for the Build
      £1,368,086 Build Costs Structure, installations and fittings
      £150,088 Admin and Contingency Admin for 2 Years £81,684: Project Manager and Finance Officer & Contingency 5% £68,404

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Details on request £865,950 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Donated land of 1.16 hectares on the fringe of the Lake District National Park situated on the M6/A66 axis at Penrith in rural north Cumbria. The location has been carefully chosen to be accessible to as many of our beneficiaries as possible, with good links to the rest of Cumbria.


    Our beneficiaries come from right across Cumbria, which includes some of the areas most rurally isolated areas in the country, where access to support and services for disabled people can be difficult. Many areas we serve also score poorly for Education, Skills and Training and Health Deprivation and Disability. Additionally, Cumbria also has a high proportion of elderly people, and consequently a high number of old people dementia and/or long-term illnesses.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Sunbeams was founded by Cumbrian born Harpist and Singer Annie Mawson in 1992. Since then she has built up the Trust to be a key provider of therapeutic music therapy in the North West. We deliver our Music for Life , Music for Health and Music for Dignity TM, and Family Learning right across the North West. We have an impeccable reputation for quality of care and training and have received a number of awards recognising this including North West National Lottery Awards Charity of the Year.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Annie Mawson

    Founder and Chief Executive

    Micheal Lawson-Johnson

    Project Development and Evaluation Officer

    Liesl McViety

    Project Coordinator

    MawsonKerr Architects

    Architects of the Centre.

How the Sunbeams Centre Will Look

How the Sunbeams Centre Will Look