Welcome to the SpArC Charity

The Sparc Charity was set up when SpArC was under threat of closure. Although, through a huge community effort, our Leisure Centre (Sport and Arts in the Community – hence SpArC) has been saved, there is still a rocky road ahead. The Centre has seen some great changes since being taken over by Shropshire Council in April 2020, but the council is under huge financial pressure and its focus and resources are often pulled to the bigger towns.

What has changed?

In late 2019, we surveyed local people to find out what changes to the Centre they would most like. Of the requests made, the following have materialised:

  • The phone is now answered throughout the day
  • There is a brilliant app for booking leisure activities and classes
  • Centre and pool hours have increased, including at weekends
  • The theatre, after Covid closures, is running a hugely varied, socially distanced, programme
  • A broader children’s holiday offer, including swimming inflatables, has been much appreciated
  • The corridors have been redecorated
  • New spin bikes have been installed, funded by our Charity, and
  • Investment has been made in renewable energy, from grants also obtained by us.

Where are we going?

The Charity now sees its role as supporting SpArC in consolidating these achievements – not least in increasing membership and use of the Centre – and raising funds to ensure its sustainability. We are the sole leisure centre in Shropshire which boasts a theatre – an asset to be cherished. It doubles support for the Centre as well as bringing endless joy to its supporters.

Plans well along the pipeline include:

  • A complete gym refurbishment, funded by our Charity
  • Increases in Exercise on Referral and low impact classes
  • Junior circuits, and a combined leisure/theatre holiday offer
  • A netball league and one-off 10k run
  • Landscaping of the grounds, with the installation of decking at the front and a climbing wall at the back

How can you help?

  1. By using the Centre – our strength relies entirely on your support
    1. Email sparc.leisure@shropshire.gov.uk for current information
    1. Email theatre@bishopscastle.co.uk to join the mailing list
  • By becoming Friends of the Theatre to receive, among other things,
    • Special advance notice via email of the upcoming season
    • Priority booking for National Theatre Live screenings
    • Opportunity to reserve a table for our cabaret-style events
    • Invitations to gallery private views 
  1. Invitation to the Friends Christmas Filma complimentary film with a glass of something nice to celebrate the year)

Individual membership is £15 a year and membership for a couple is £25.

To join, simply call the Box Office on 01588 630321 / 638038 or visit SpArC Theatre or Enterprise House.

  • By volunteering to help in all sorts of ways. Our latest offer – which we love – is of alpaca poo for the grounds. We badly need volunteers to help with fund-raising activities (see pages on 500 club and fund raising) and welcome new trustee applicants. In the near future, we will need offers to run pop-up plant stalls, as well as help with planting at the Centre. Please make any offers – however tentative – to me (jeanshirley@btinternet.com) or another trustee (see list).