A SMALL arts centre in Uley is embarking upon a range of capital projects in the coming year at the cost of £346,000 – and is looking to the public to help fund a part of it.

Prema Arts Centre on South Street is in need of urgent repair as the roof on the Grade II listed building has dropped on one side, causing damage from leaks.

As well as a new roof, the 34-year-old enterprise hopes to raise funds for an ambitious programme of renovations, including studio space for four aspiring artists.

It also wants to modernize the back rooms of the building, provide a second workshop space for community groups and to double the number of courses they offer.

There are also plans to reduce the building’s carbon footprint with improved insulation and more efficient heating and lighting.

But the first task for the centre is securing the £70,000 needed to repair the roof and has embarked on a fundraising drive to make it happen.

Prema director Gordon Scott said it was a “splendid organisation”.

“An ever growing number of people are coming to the centre, which does so many things for so many people,” he said.

“We have never asked for charitable donations before and the results have been overwhelmingy positive.”

As part of an application to the national lottery, the centre has said they will reach their fundraising target of £70,000 by March 2015.

When this target is reached, it will allow the centre to apply for funds from charitable trusts and from the Arts Council England.

Since December, £3,500 has been received in donations.

The centre has been going since 1980 and has aimed to offer an affordable, pioneering arts education programme alongside showcasing peoples’ art through their exhibitions and performances and welcomed over 73,000 visitors in 2013.

Artists who have worked at Prema in the early stages of their career include Jo Brand, Arthur Smith and Benjamin Zephaniah.

A former Baptist chapel built in 1821, the building was bought and renovated in the 70s by sculptor Andrew Wood.

To donate you can pick up a “Raising the Roof at Prema” card and hand it in with a cash or cheque donation at the office or by visiting www.prema.org.uk

When making a donation tell the centre if you are a UK taxpayer as it will be able to claim back 25p for every pound donated.