AN EDUCATIONAL arts centre is urgently looking for a new base so it can expand its classes.

The Granary Creative Arts Centre has outgrown its home in Brockwood, near Alresford, after seven years of providing practical creative courses.

Winchester resident of 25 years, Kezia Hoffman, founded the community interest company that has guided 84 teenagers who have fallen out of the school system through art GCSE and five through art a-level.

She says the company is “absolutely ready” to move, with the centre in Brockwood Park not being suitable to deliver “at-risk crafts” like blacksmithing.

Hampshire Chronicle: Kezia Hoffman and her partner Gaz HojKezia Hoffman and her partner Gaz Hoj (Image: Kezia Hoffman)

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The Granary is limited to 23 students a year, despite being the only non-school location in the south offering Art GCSE.

Ms Hoffman and her team are looking for a farm with outbuildings, anywhere in the south, that can be developed into an arts, artisan and education village as soon as possible.

Ms Hoffman, 47, said: “It’s really about making sure of putting in a proper effort to preserve heritage skills.

“Humans are innately creative and if they can’t express that they do seem to get depressed. People transform when they start working with their hands.

“We’re doing the young people a great favour, I’ve seen young disadvantaged boys light up when they do some blacksmithing and these are the skills that are in danger because we can’t do them at home.

“Practical skills are in absolute crisis, people are dependent on their screens. It’s getting hard to find places you can learn old skills. Through practical and creative workshops people can develop new skills, confidence, a sense of achievement, calm, focus, a sense of purpose and an overall improved sense of well-being.

Hampshire Chronicle: The Granary Creative Arts CentreThe Granary Creative Arts Centre (Image: Kezia Hoffman)

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“There is no funding for home education despite the increase in demand. The Granary serves as an informal safety net and creative outlet for students, particularly those who have struggled socially, or may be neurodiverse or face anxiety and other challenges. The program specialises in fostering individualised creative expression.

“It’s a place where misfits can feel welcome and are encouraged to choose their own creative direction which will be different for everyone.

“So far everyone has passed and some have created portfolios that have a level of maturity that has made me cry, especially when they use their art to be honest about how they perceive the world.”

The Granary is funded by the Ecology and Triodos banks but Ms Hoffman says the new home and project is likely to need private investments too.

Anyone interested in supporting the Granary’s future should contact