Shoreham’s Ropetackle Arts Centre saved from closure by council’s £20k a year funding pledge

The future of Shoreham’s 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 had been in doubt – with directors launching a Ropetackle 2020 fundraising appeal earlier this year to raise £30,000 to support its ongoing operations.

The Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham SUS-190813-110820001

The Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham SUS-190813-110820001

So far, £40,000 has been donated. On the back of this and after 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.

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 the funds. 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 the decision being referred to full council later this month.

Mr Parkin also praised Kevin Boram, who has been in ongoing discussions with Ropetackle directors around the future of the centre for many months.

Ropetackle chairman Martin Allen thanked the council and Mr 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.

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.