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Arnside Educational Institute (AEI)

Arnside Educational Institute

The Arnside Educational Institute (AEI) is a well equipped centre, open to all and situated in the heart of the village with rooms for hire of different shapes and sizes. With capacity from 2-100, some are suitable for occasional work or group meetings. There are two kitchens with cookers, kettles and dishwashers so you can even get a cup of tea in a break from your meeting or activity!

It is a great community facility offering a wide range of activities provided by the many local clubs, groups and societies who hire rooms on a regular basis. The current list of clubs, societies and groups that use the AEI can be found on our website, where you can also check room availability using the Calendar and apply for a booking by emailing a request via the Contact Form.

There is a lift giving access to the hall and rooms upstairs. The hall is a large space – ideal for badminton, table tennis, dance and exercise classes as well as great for drama groups or similar, and there is also a dedicated snooker room with two tables. The introduction of Pickleball is also being considered as it gains in popularity.

The hall also has a good size stage, lighting, sound system and speakers so is perfect for all sorts of activities e.g. drama groups to rehearse and perform, plays and events, including parties and family gatherings. (See photos below)

We encourage people who use the facilities to become members – and many do, but it is not essential, you just pay a little more for participation.

Arnside Library Link, run by Westmorland & Furness Council, is also situated within the AEI.

WiFi is available throughout the building for members and anyone booking rooms.

*Arnside Educational Institute is a large, old building and, as the name suggests, began its life as a school that was established by local people in 1873 and recently celebrated its 150th birthday.

Arnside in the mid 19th century was less than a tenth of its current size, so too small to have its own school. Children had to go several miles every day in all weathers, across the marshes to Beetham, so a local school was very much needed. The school provided education for children and adults but unfortunately closed after a few years. However, in its place, what we now know as the AEI arose to cater for the people of Arnside and beyond.

It is a registered charity and is managed by a committee of trustees, and supported by members who volunteer their time and expertise to keep the place going.

There are two paid employees without whom the AEI couldn’t survive. Between them they know everything!

*Sources: (1) ‘Arnside Educational Institute, 150 years’ by Norma Platts, 2023 (2) ‘Arnside, a guide and community history’ by Dennis Bradbury, 2002.

Hall and Stage at the AEI
The Stage at the AEI


Opening hours

Office hours are Tuesday & Thursday 10am - 12 noon