Yard is named
after a noted coaching inn that once stood on the site. It was more recently
an electricity substation and depot until Signpost Housing Association bought
the site in 1999 and developed it in partnership with Swans Trust to provide
13 badly needed affordable homes, as well as the retail units and a pedestrian
link way between the High Street and Bell Street.
(Charity Number 1063757) took
a 190 year lease in 2001 on the access and ground floor units to develop
them as a craft centre, café and community office. Swans Trust is
Shaftesburys Development Trust, set up in 1997 to promote and develop
the community and facilities of Shaftesbury. The Trust have a particular
interest in promoting startup Art and Craft businesses in the area, and subsidise
the units in the Yard to enable and support a vibrant artistic community.
all local people who volunteer their time and skills to work in partnership
with the local authorities, volunteers and others to develop numerous projects
including Shaftesbury Contact (a monthly local newsletter), Blackmore Vale
Credit Union, and Shaftesbury Local Food Festival - to name but a few.
Swans Yard is now an established and attractive part of the town but
we are still working hard to enhance both the Yard itself and it's position
as a focal point for top quality locally produced Art and Crafts.
Swans Yard - before and after redevelopment.