GREAT GESTURE: Granite Belt Community Space president Laurie Astill accepts the sculpture of a phoenix from former Art Works on Davadi volunteer David Martin. The sculpture will be placed in the the group's new building. Photo Erin Smith / Stanthorpe Border Post
GREAT GESTURE: Granite Belt Community Space president Laurie Astill accepts the sculpture of a phoenix from former Art Works on Davadi volunteer David Martin. The sculpture will be placed in the the group's new building. Photo Erin Smith / Stanthorpe Border Post Erin Smith

New community hub on the way

THEY only closed their doors three months ago, but the group behind the former Art Works on Davadi have already risen from the ashes and brought with them a renewed focus.

The dedicated volunteers behind the once-popular community hub are back under a new name, with a new president and a new drive to once again provide the Granite Belt community with their own space.

Art Works on Davadi operated out of the building on the corner of Lock and Davadi streets for three years before being forced to close its doors in September to make way for the coming Aldi store.

Despite six months of hard work in the lead-up to the September closing date, the group were unable to secure funding for a new building to move into and were left with no option but to disband.

But not wanting to leave those who relied on the community hub out in the wind, they regrouped under a new name: The Granite Belt Community Space.

President of the new group Laurie Astill, who was heavily involved in Art Works on Davadi, said the new group and space hoped to be up and running early next year.

Mr Astill said he hadn't planned on putting his hand up for the top job, but said he could not bear to see nothing done.

"I ran a Thursday afternoon art group at Art Works and it meant so much to them," he said.

"You could see the difference the place made to the disabled, the people from Endeavour, CDS, Lifeline and all the other groups.

"The one thing I want to see continue is that at Art Works it didn't matter how old you were or whether you had a disability, you could walk in that door and everyone was treated equal.

"I really want to see that continue."

The group is currently in negotiations about a new location.

But they are remaining tight-lipped about exactly where the building is.

"We have to wait until it is all tied up before we can reveal the new building," Mr Astill said.

Former Art Works on Davadi co-ordinator Leisa Cavallo, who is a member of the new committee, said the group would continue to offer all the same services as before, including a few new ones.

"The new site has so much scope," she said.

"We hope to be up and running within four months."

Southern Downs Regional councillor Denise Ingram had been a long-time supporter of the Art Works on Davadi group.

"It was a place a lot of people who had nowhere to go went to relax and meet people," she said.

"Its closure has left a gap in the community."

On Tuesday Mr Astill was presented with a sculpture of a phoenix made by former Art Works volunteer David Martin.

The sculpture symbolises Art Works rising from the ashes better than before.

Mr Astill was impressed with the sculpture and said it would have a special spot at the new location.

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