Focus on: The Tetbury Goods Shed Arts Centre

A look at a very special arts space in the Cotswolds – soon to host a new collaboration with the Friends of the RWA…

by Laurel Smart

The idyllic town of Tetbury, set in the beautiful Cotswolds, has a very special asset and the Friends of the RWA are set to benefit. The FRWA and the Goods Shed are working on an exciting new collaboration: a Friends’ Exhibition next spring.

The Tetbury Goods Shed is a thriving, creative Arts Centre with big ideas. It is set in a recently renovated Victorian railway building that lies just a few minutes walk from Tetbury town centre and at the start of the Tetbury bridle path and cycle trail.

This historic former Great Western Railway goods shed has been given a new lease of life, opening to the public as an arts and entertainment venue in 2017. It has been converted to its new use with generous support from the public and regional donors – including patron His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (also of course a patron of the RWA).

The arts centre aims to fulfil a local need and to become a centre of excellence for the arts in the Cotswolds. It is run partly by a team of dedicated volunteers and is proud to have a community ethos. It supports education, social engagement and wellbeing through the arts, offering local artists opportunities to perform and show work. They also aim to exhibit the work of established artists’ from outside the area.

Julia Hasler, volunteer responsible for art exhibitions, with John Andrews Goods Shed trustee and Friend of RWA.

Julia Hasler, who was a Founding Trustee and is now the volunteer responsible for art exhibitions, says: “It has been a stimulating and sometimes challenging experience being involved in the creation of our arts centre. We are all dedicated to the arts as a powerful tool to improve social cohesion and wellbeing. I am now looking forward to managing art exhibitions in the future and delighted to be working with the Friends of the RWA to bring some exciting art to Tetbury.”

With a stunning high vaulted ceiling, the Goods Shed hosts live music, cinema nights and craft workshops in this beautiful historical setting. The Whistlestop Cafe is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10am until 4pm. You can enjoy delicious freshly cooked food in their fabulously refurbished Finnish Railway Carriage. In the summer there is seating in an open marquee and in the winter there are also tables in the main building, surrounded by fabulous art.


The Whistlestop Cafe. Photo: @azime_aime33

The Goods Shed also provides a fantastic space for two dimensional art to be shown and an exciting programme of exhibitions is being developed. This will offer local and regional artists the opportunity to share their work with the community.

Exhibitions generally span two months and the first RWA friend to mount a solo exhibition will be showing from 6th January 2020 (details coming soon!). In the future there will be more opportunities for RWA Friends, Network Artists and Academicians to exhibit their work.

Jane Boot, chair of the Friends of the RWA said, “This is a beautiful space and an exciting outreach for The RWA.We are looking forward to working with Julia Hasler and her team.”

Further information about the Friends’ Exhibition at Tetbury Goods Shed, including dates and entry forms will be included in the December printed newsletter and on The Floating Circle, so watch this space!


Visit the Tetbury Goods Shed website here for listings and more info – and follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook


The Friends of the RWA is an independent charity that supports the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol’s first art gallery. 
For just £35 a year Friends can make unlimited visits to RWA exhibitions and enjoy a host of other benefits, as well as making an important contribution to the arts in Bristol and the South West. Find out more and join up here.

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