Sunday, 29 November 2015

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Cumbrian arts centre joy at Arts Council England grant

Staff and volunteers at a west Cumbrian arts centre are celebrating after learning it will receive a £65,000 windfall.

Kirkgate Centre photo
Kirkgate Centre in Cockermouth

The funding for the Kirkgate Centre will come from Arts Council England and will cover a two-year period from March 2013.

The cash will enable the Cockermouth-based arts venue to deliver an even more ambitious programme of events.

It will allow it to stage more high-quality touring theatre shows, as well as contemporary dance, contemporary craft shows and digital art works.

Kate Parry, general manager of Kirkgate Arts, said: ‘We are so pleased that our application to the Arts Council has been successful.

“It’s a fantastic thing for Cockermouth. Competition for Arts Council funding is fierce at the moment, and there was no certainty that our application would be approved when it was submitted before Christmas.

“It shows how, thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and staff, the Kirkgate Centre can compete seriously with all the other arts venues across the north of England.”

She added: ‘This funding will enable us to put together an even more ambitious and exciting arts programme for people living in Cockermouth and west Cumbria. Our aim is to involve as many local people as possible in new, high- quality shows and workshops at the Kirkgate Centre.

“With this financial support, we will also be able to revamp our website completely and boost our marketing capacity,” added Kate. “Ultimately it will add to our long-term success and stability.’

The centre is operated by Kirkgate Arts, a company limited by guarantee with charitable status.

It is run primarily by volunteers supported by a small core of paid staff.

The programme currently consists of regular film screenings, live music, comedy events. A programme of community arts activity is also supported by the Big Lottery Fund.

These include band nights for young people, afternoon events for older adults, schools shows, workshops for families, and support for local festivals.


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