Ten years of Ropetackle: ‘an inspiring miracle’

Shoreham guitarist Richard Durrant, pictured in 2007 with band Ungagged prior to a fundraiser at Ropetackle before its official opening, has been a long-time champion of the venue
Shoreham guitarist Richard Durrant, pictured in 2007 with band Ungagged prior to a fundraiser at Ropetackle before its official opening, has been a long-time champion of the venue

Shoreham’s Ropetackle is preparing to celebrate its ten-year anniversary.

The centre was opened in April, 2007, and next month’s milestone is to be marked with a series of special events.

Ropetackle spokesman Mark Phillips said: “What a decade it’s been. Reaching our tenth anniversary is particularly significant because not many people realise Ropetackle is a charity staffed almost entirely by volunteers. Our box office, stewards and bar staff are all from the local community, giving their time to make Ropetackle happen.”

For Shoreham resident and leading concert guitarist Richard Durrant, Ropetackle represents the very best of what can be achieved by a bunch of determined locals.

He said: “Ropetackle is something Sussex can be truly proud of. It is not just a thriving arts centre, but an inspiring miracle.

“Opened at the start of a crippling recession and initially greeted with scepticism, the volunteers and staff have worked tirelessly against staggering odds to create their own, very special success story.”

A new fundraising appeal has been launched alongside its birthday celebrations.

Mark said: “After ten years some of our key equipment is now deteriorating and we need to raise £20,000 to cover the necessary upgrades. Our target is to reach this by the middle of May, 2017, and we’ve organised a race night on May 6, and a silent auction on May 13, in aid of this. We are also encouraging people to join our Friends scheme which will not only support the cause but includes benefits such as priority booking.

“Ultimately, our ambition this April is to share the joys of Ropetackle with as many people as possible – it’s our 10th birthday and everyone 
is invited. With the continuing support of the whole community, the next ten years will be as exciting and successful as the last.”

For more on the anniversary events and an interview with the Ropetackle artistic director and trustee Anne Hodgson, see this week’s WOW pull-out and log on to the website www.ropetacklecentre.co.uk/ropetackle-10-year-celebration