Venue secures £354k grant

Town clerk Richard Wood, Pocklington mayor Paul West, Pocklington Arts Centre assistant manager James Duffy and manager Janet Farmer on the first floor of the venue.
Town clerk Richard Wood, Pocklington mayor Paul West, Pocklington Arts Centre assistant manager James Duffy and manager Janet Farmer on the first floor of the venue.

It’s all systems go for plans to refurbish the first floor of Pocklington Arts Centre, which has secured a grant of more than £350,000 towards the project, to the delight of the venue’s staff.

The first floor has laid empty since the building opened in 2000, and the funding from Arts Council England will be used to incorporate it into the Arts Centre alongside improvements and remodelling of other areas.

The Arts Centre’s award of £354,597 will cover the majority of the costs of the £474,597 project, with the remaining funding to come from the town council, Friends of the Arts Centre and the venue itself.

Building work for the project needs to be completed before the end of March next year.

Janet Farmer, manager of the Arts Centre, said: “There was a high level of competition for the funding so we are absolutely delighted and surprised to have been awarded this grant. It will enable the venue to offer improved facilities for customers, staff, volunteers and performers.

“We have waited a long time to incorporate the first floor of the Grade two listed building into the Arts Centre, which has laid empty since the building opened in 2000. For the announcement to be made on the 15th anniversary of the venue’s first film screening, makes the news all the more special.

“We have worked with the Town Council and Mason Clark Associates for a number of years to develop this project and more recently from Karen Durham and Ralph Dartford from the Arts Council. The funding now enables us to realise this dream. A huge thank you to everyone involved in making this happen.”

Mayor of Pocklington, councillor Paul West, has also welcomed the announcement. He added: “The award is stunning news for the Arts Centre and the town as a whole. Congratulations to Janet Farmer and all of the venue’s staff and volunteers on this fantastic achievement. It is wonderful to see the Arts Centre recognised in this way and for all of its achievements over the last 15 years. Pocklington Town Council look forward to working with the Arts Centre on this significant investment in the town.”

Staff from the Arts Centre along with members of Pocklington Town Council will meet with architects from Mason Clark Associates next week to plan the next stage of the project.

Arts Council England has announced that 41 organisations across England are to receive funding from their small scale Capital investment programme, including the grant of £354,597 to Pocklington Arts Centre, which is the eighth highest award nationally and one of only 12 awards in the north.

Totalling a sum of over £9.5 million, the funding awards range from £100,000 to £499,999. This investment will support organisations to develop resilience by giving them the right buildings and equipment to deliver their work, and to become more sustainable and resilient businesses.