11 March 2021

Hanger Farm Arts Centre is looking forward with confidence to reopening in May after receiving a welcome funding boost.

The Arts Centre has been largely closed for the last year due to Covid restrictions but is now eagerly anticipating the opportunity to reopen should restrictions ease as planned in mid-May.

The reopening plans have now received support from The Theatres Trust with a grant of £4,700 towards PPE to keep staff and audiences safe once they return to the theatre.

This is part of £155,000 worth of grants handed out by the national advisory body for theatre to assist with the added Covid costs of reopening theatres.

Hanger Farm Arts Centre is run by Minstead Trust, a charity supporting people with learning disabilities to live more independent lives. The Trust supports people to gain work experience working in the Arts Centre’s café as well as running an inclusive community theatre group.

The Covid crisis has been hugely challenging for the Arts Centre and the other areas of Minstead Trust, which has seen its income vastly reduced as its social enterprises closed for several months. The Trust runs Furzey Gardens in Minstead and Minstead Lodge conference and events venue as well as Hanger Farm. These enterprises also offer work experience for people with learning disabilities to work towards employment.

Kyle Maxwell, Hanger Farm Arts Centre manager, said: ‘After a long, difficult year it is really exciting to be looking forward with optimism to the day when we can welcome audiences back to the Arts Centre.

‘This grant from The Theatres Trust is a huge help to our efforts to make a visit to the theatre this summer as safe and enjoyable as possible. Our preparations for reopening will now be able to continue apace, as we get ready for a jam-packed schedule of music, theatre and comedy in the second half of the year.’

Theatres Trust Director Jon Morgan says ‘We are beginning to look forward to a time when theatres can reopen, welcome audiences back inside and continue to play a vital role in their communities. Following a difficult year, Theatres Trust is delighted to be able to support Hanger Farm Arts Centre, a much-loved community theatre, with its plans for a safe reopening.’

Shows at Hanger Farm Arts Centre are available to book now at www.hangerfarm.co.uk

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