2 July 2020

A popular arts centre in Totton, run by local charity Minstead Trust, has suffered a setback after being targeted by vandals this week.

The incident was captured on CCTV and the police are involved.

This criminal damage to Hanger Farm Arts Centre’s roof comes in the middle of a difficult year for the charity-run venue. No shows or events have run since March due to the coronavirus outbreak, with the prospect of live performances in the coming months looking remote.

This is a particular disappointment for the community in Totton, where the centre is a local hub, providing a café, accessible shows and a venue for local groups as well as weddings and conferences.

Until the lockdown, over 5,000 people a year enjoyed a range of theatre, cinema, live music and other cultural events at the arts centre. Hanger Farm also runs a learning disability community theatre and had just launched an adult and young people’s community theatre group when the pandemic caused the venue’s closure.

Despite these difficult circumstances, the arts centre is proving its resilience by running a virtual stage online showcasing local performers. It is also pushing on with developing its plans to run cinema showings later in the year, when it is safe to do so.

The café is now open again for take-away refreshments. The arts centre receives no government funding and is reliant on the income from its visitors, café and events to be viable, and so these remain difficult days.

Hanger Farm Arts Centre is run by local charity Minstead Trust, which supports people with learning disabilities to live more independent and fulfilled lives. The Trust supports people to work at Hanger Farm and gain experience, with the income from ticket sales supporting the charity’s work.

If you would like to support Hanger Farm Arts Centre during these difficult times visit www.minsteadtrust.org.uk/donate

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