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Exciting new amphitheatre being built for Chilton village community

Residents living in Chilton will soon have their own impressive amphitheatre for local shows and performances.

Chilton Parish Council applied for funds collected by Vale of White Horse District Council from developer contributions for public art as part of an agreement to build new homes in the village.  The parish council worked hard over a number of years and were successful in receiving £72,486 for the new amphitheatre after previously receiving £10,312 towards research, consultation and commissioning for the project. 

Created by sculpture artist Tim Norris, work started on the structure earlier this year, with some inspiration coming from the Diamond Light Source, amongst other local themes.  The amphitheatre is cut into the landscape and shaped like the science facility based at Harwell Campus, which produces intense beams of light to examine materials in scientific research. 

The local community were involved in helping to decide the design and have been getting involved in the construction by placing their own stones in the structure.  Once complete, the open-air arena will have enough seats for an audience of around 70 people, with seats made from oak on top of steel cages that house the beautiful Oxfordshire Ardley stone walls. 

Cllr Mark Urso-Cale from Chilton Parish Council said: “Having been involved from the start, I’m so pleased to get the project started.  The designs were great, but it looks amazing in person.  Tim and the contractors have really given the project care and attention to detail and we’re all looking forward to seeing it open.”

Cllr Bethia Thomas, Cabinet member for development and regeneration, said: “This is a hugely exciting project and I’m delighted that developer funds have gone towards this new art installation, which will become a new focal point for all the community to enjoy.”

Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne, local ward councillor for Chilton said: “This project has taken lots of commitment by the parish council to see this through to completion and I’ve been glad to assist. I’m looking forward to attending performances there in the future.”

Cllr Sarah Medley, local ward councillor for Chilton, said: “Even with the current climate of social distancing, it’s been great to see residents getting involved and being able to place their own stones in the amphitheatre.  Being an outside structure, means that it can be used straight away albeit with a smaller audience at first.”

The amphitheatre is set to be completed this summer, with official opening planned when social distancing rules are relaxed further.