One of Frome’s leading venues, The Cheese and Grain aims to promote the city’s social and economic life via cultural events and activities. From the local Frome Festival to theatre, fairs, and activities for children, the transformed market hall is now a hub of the Arts and the community. Built in 1874, the venue’s roots date back to when Frome was a leading market town. Ever since the Norman Conquest, Frome has always had markets, and The Cheese and Grain sought to continue this tradition and maintain the town’s identity. Its frontage was recently restored to showcase Frome’s heritage and the venue continues to host flea, farmers and specialised markets regularly.
The Cheese and Grain was converted from its original use in the 1990s, becoming a not-for-profit social enterprise which supports the cultural life of the Somerset town of Frome. Its trustees are now elected annually by its members. The main space features an 800-capacity concert hall, which can fit up to 500 people at a sit-down event, although more visitors can enjoy performances from a bird's eye view thanks to its mezzanine. The upper area was added to support its claim to being a business hub, as well as entertainment, used for offices, hot-desking, meetings and other business-related activities.
Locally, the Cheese and Grain is known for its free Roots Sessions event every Wednesday, which showcases local professional musicians. To those outside the town, The Cheese and Grain is one of the main host venues of the Frome Festival, the town’s annual music and culture festival. Recent visitors to The Cheese and Grain for the festival include the legendary Salfordian performance poet Dr. John Cooper Clarke, soft rock hero Leo Sayer and the folk fiddle group Blazin’ Fiddles. Over the years, many big names have also performed there, including Pete Doherty, Robert Plant and The Editors, while the venue itself won the Muddy Stilettos Award for ‘Best Theatre/Arts Venue in Somerset’ in 2018.