How to make wonderful centre a going concern
HAVING moved to Shoreham a year ago, I have come to love all that the town offers.
One of the great delights was to discover the Ropetackle Arts Centre, with its wonderful range of entertainment on our doorstep.
It is a joy not having to travel to Brighton to see films like Atonement, to be entertained by Julie Felix or Barry Cryer, or to enjoy a range of concerts, quizzes and comedy shows.
So I was saddened to read that the centre is in financial difficulties.
The Ropetackle Centre is largely run by a hard-working team of volunteer trustees, stewards and receptionists.
They deserve support from us all if this great asset to the town is to be retained.
The solution is not for the council to provide a permanent subsidy.
It cannot '“ and should not '“ do that, with all its other pressing financial demands.
But it should work in close partnership with the Ropetackle centre to help it with its start-up problems, and then help build a sensible, long-term financial plan that secures the centre's future.
That should include establishing a commercial caf there that is open throughout the week, using the facilities for adult education classes, for public meetings, quality photographic and art exhibitions and attracting conferences to the town.
It is not reasonable to expect the small team of volunteers to do it on their own.
They need local residents, businesses and the council to work alongside them to come up with imaginative solutions.
The goal of adding a thriving arts centre to the array of delights of living here is worth the effort.