Unique amphitheatre in Chilton officially opens
Last month, a one-of-a-kind amphitheatre in Chilton was officially opened by local parish councillor Mark Urso-Calé.
The parish council were able to arrange the event to celebrate the new community open space for residents to use and enjoy now that Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
Despite the wet weather forecast, the event went ahead and was very well attended by local villagers, Chilton parish and Vale of White Horse district councillors. After the ribbon cutting ceremony, four local entertainment acts took part to celebrate the new facility. Wantage act Whooysa kicked off the celebrations by playing their American folk roots music.
A wonderful surprise followed from Rock Choir Oxfordshire, as the crowd were led to believe only one singer was involved, however, a fabulous Flash-mob caught everyone off guard, and the performance went down a treat.
Local to Chilton, Blewbury Brass Band then followed up with a mix of classic tunes and the day was closed by the formidable The Undercovers, who were asked to play encores.
The amphitheatre was constructed prior to and during the pandemic, and was created by sculptor Tim Norris, who used the nearby Diamond Light Source building as his main inspiration. The structure can seat up to 70 people and is cut into the landscape to be shaped like the science facility based at Harwell Campus, which produces intense beams of light to examine materials in scientific research.
The amphitheatre and surrounding grounds were funded by developer contributions for public art as part of an agreement with Vale of White Horse district council to build new homes in the area. The parish council were successful in receiving £72,486 following a fund of £10,312 towards researching, consulting and commissioning for the art project.
Cllr Mark Urso-Calé, from Chilton Parish Council, said, “I’m so proud to have been part of the whole work of art project from beginning to end and especially proud of today’s event. I couldn’t have wished for more from the village, the performances put in by the acts, and I was so pleased everyone had such a great time.
“The work of art is such a focal point for the area and so nice to have in Chilton. It’s so different to what you see in other areas and is really unique.”
Cllr Margaret Crick, Chair of Vale of White Horse district council said, “It’s been great to come along and see how funds from local developers have directly helped the parish council to build such an ambitious project. I’m sure it will be a popular space that brings the community together and supports our own aims to build healthier communities.”
Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne, district councillor for Harwell and Chilton, said, “I really enjoyed being part of the opening celebrations, it was truly lovely to see everyone back together. I love how the design and structure of the amphitheatre mirrors the nearby Diamond light source – very cool! Well done to everyone involved.”
Cllr Sarah Medley, district councillor for Harwell and Chilton, said, “It is a fantastic open space for everyone in the village, and the ideal location for community groups to arrange small performances as well as a lovely place for residents to meet up and enjoy.”