Viva Arts and Community Group, a multi-award winning registered charity has a remit to engage the local community via inclusive activities and projects, promote community cohesion and personal development for young people, vulnerable adults and adults who are new to the community.

It was founded in 1997 by Daniel Schumann, who was only 17 at the time, and the charity is a beacon for youth-led community action through performance, cultural and heritage expression and exploration.

For more than 20 years the Group has focused on cultural outreach, award-winning multi-generational theatre productions, arts engagement and heritage projects. In 2010 Viva received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the MBE for Voluntary Groups.

The organisation is currently delivering an HLF-funded project about Cambridgeshire’s unique village college education system. As a result of these projects, Viva has developed a great deal of expertise and understanding of heritage interpretation and associated activity programming.

Despite Viva’s achievements, it has never had a ‘home’ and has been largely peripatetic which has limited the number of young people and vulnerable adults and wider community members who could be involved at one time.

Viva seeks to appropriately renovate the derelict mill and bring it back to life for the community as a self-sustaining business run by a successful social enterprise. The costs associated with hiring venues has also restricted the organisation’s reach but the regeneration of Spencer Mill will change this forever.

In February 2018, Viva Arts and Community Group submitted a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Heritage Enterprise programme to fund the Viva Spencer Mill Restoration Project. In June 2018, the HLF awarded the Viva Spencer Mill Restoration Project a first-round pass and the plans have already been drawn up to beyond RIBA 2 concepts and full planning permission is expected in September 2018. These can be found in the tender supporting documents.

Art Fund – Going Places – Oct 2023

The deliverables are:

  • A fully executed and exemplary HLF Heritage Enterprise Grant Round 2 application to
  • RIBA Stage 4
  • A 3D model of the building for use in cost management and build process
  • An Activity & Interpretation Plan
  • A Business & Fundraising Plan and Development Appraisal
  • A Management & Maintenance Plan
  • A fully-costed Costs Plan with supporting Tender Responses for capital works
  • Complete schedule of surveys
  • Planning Permission (already underway)
  • Production of designs to be taken though to the beginning of RIBA Work Stage 5 (Construction)
  • Production of procurement documents and leading the procurement process for a
  • Principal Contractors, ready for appointment upon Permission to Start at Delivery Phase
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Budget and Deadlines

Budget for Round 2 project development: £90,000
Deadline for Submission: Monday 24 September 2018 at 9.00am
Confirmation of Consultancy Appointment: Wednesday 12 September 2018
Start Up Meeting in Soham, Cambridgeshire: Monday 17 September 2018
Round 2 Submission up to RIBA 4:  Thursday 28 February 2019