Future of Ropetackle Arts Centre set to be secured
The future of Shoreham’s multi-award winning Ropetackle Arts Centre is set to be secured after Adur District Council agreed to step in to provide thousands of pounds of funding.
Despite ongoing support from the community and local authority, the future of the community-run arts venue has been in doubt - with directors launching a Ropetackle 2020 fundraising appeal earlier this year to raise £30,000 to support its ongoing operations.
So far, £40,000 has been donated. On the back of this and after extensive negotiations around how the venue will be managed in the future, the Council is set to provide £20,000 of funding for each of the next three years.
This is on the provision of a new business plan being developed, changes to the governance arrangements and a number of new trustees being appointed.
Cllr Neil Parkin, Leader of Adur District Council, said: “We have always been supportive of the Ropetackle and want to see it succeed in the long run.
“Now we have assurances over how the venue will be managed moving forward we will look to move swiftly to release these funds with an urgent item coming forward to next week’s Joint Strategic Committee.
“I sincerely hope the funding will support the ongoing prosperity of this well-supported and much-loved venue which - as the incredible response to the crowdfunding appeal shows - contributes an enormous amount to our area.”
The funding will be released, pending approval at a meeting due to be held on Tuesday (October 8, 2019) and the decision being referred to Full Council later this month.
Cllr Parkin also praised Cllr Kevin Boram, who has been in ongoing discussions with Ropetackle directors around the future of the centre for many months. He also thanked the Ropetackle Trustees for their dedication and efforts in making Ropetackle such an essential asset of Adur.
Ropetackle chairman Martin Allen thanked the Council and Cllr Boram for the backing, adding: “On the basis of this remarkable support, and with certain other measures we are taking to generate revenue and improve profitability, we are not only in a strong enough position to continue to operate but we also now have a sound platform for boosting our funding going forward.
“The level of Ropetackle 2020 donations has demonstrated the value of Ropetackle to the community and to our audiences.
“What is important is that we are able to rely upon continuing community funding as a key element of our revenue. It is hugely gratifying that so many donors have agreed to such continuity by way of direct debit. We very much hope that as many people as possible will commit to such ongoing support.”
Ropetackle trustees said it would be looking to hold an open meeting later this year to thank all of those who donated and share ideas for the future. An appeal for experienced individuals to join the board of trustees will also be launched.