Trowbridge arts centre facing closure

Appeal for £35,000 to keep doors open

Trowbridge’s Town Hall arts centre may have to close if it cannot raise £35,000 by next month.

The news follows the arts centre’s failure to secure a £35,000 grant from Arts Council England, which accounts for more than a quarter of the organisation’s annual income, despite having received more than £100,000 from ACE over the last few years.

The Board of Trustees says that without the cash, they will be unable to operate the centre, which has been going since 2011. They have appealed to local businesses for support to raise the money.

The trust was formed to restore the town’s most historic building, which now houses 12 resident artists and is used by more than 20 community groups and a number of local commercial organisations. It attracted more than 5,000 people last year, says the Town Hall Trust.

Wiltshire and Swindon Cultural Education Partnership (CEP), which represents a number of arts organisations in Wiltshire, said Town Hall Arts offered “numerous, wide-ranging and impactful opportunities to the people of our county town.”

Tracy Sullivan, Director of Town Hall Arts, said: “We are grateful to ACE for the support they have given us over the years. The work we have achieved with young people and artists in and around Trowbridge simply wouldn’t have been possible without that support. The news is obviously a huge disappointment.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West,Arts Council England, said,”We have been happy to support Trowbridge Town Hall previously with significant grants totalling almost £300,000 to provide a quality, diverse, accessible programme and build their organisational resilience.”

He added that the Grants for the Arts scheme is “a highly competitive funding programme and there are always many more good applications and projects than the Arts Council can funded.”

Wiltshire and Swindon Cultural Education Partnership, includes Create Studios, Pound Arts, Prime Theatre, Wiltshire Creative, Wiltshire Music Centre and Wiltshire Music Connect.

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