ROPETACKLE LAUNCHES PLAN FOR SURVIVAL
A new fundraising appeal has been launched by Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham’s purpose-built community arts venue and cinema, that will, trustees hope, ensure its survival. The much-loved centre, which was voted the best theatre and arts venue in Sussex this year by Muddy Stilettos*, has welcomed some of the biggest names in showbusiness, live music, comedy, literature, and politics onto the stage over its 12-year history. Its future is now at a pivotal point as it strives to raise £30,000 year-on-year in regular monthly contributions.
Unlike many local arts centres, Ropetackle, a registered charity, receives very little public funding and relies on around 80 volunteers, a small team of staff and successful Friends’ schemes to keep running. Thanks to a great programme and a strong community spirit, the Centre has become one of the most impressive venues in Sussex, attracting more than 50,000 visitors a year, and providing space and facilities for meetings, workshops and activities.
In the past six months alone, top comedians Romesh Ranganathan, Jack Dee, Alan Carr, and best-selling author Peter James have entertained audiences, along with some of the biggest names in jazz, rock, blues, folk, indie and world music. A children’s programme providing educational and fun shows for younger audiences is also proving popular.
The ROPETACKLE 2020 – PLAN FOR SURVIVAL campaign, launched on Monday 15th July, will encourage people to sign up as Gold or Silver Patrons. For a monthly contribution of £42 (£500 per year), Gold Patrons will be able to reserve up to four seats for shows, enjoy interval drinks at a reserved table, and book shows ahead of the crowd with a priority booking scheme. Silver Patrons sign up to pay contributions of £8.50 a month (£100 year), reserve up to two seats for shows and enjoy priority booking. Regular donations of any sum are of course welcomed.
As Martin Allen, Chairman of the Ropetackle Trust, explains, Ropetackle will not be able to stay open unless the scheme takes off. “The costs of running a venue are considerable,” he says. “We need to pay for performers, repairs, electricity and other utilities, as well as ongoing maintenance. As we are a small venue, with only 200 seats, we actually get very little back from ticket sales, which we try to keep affordable.
“Ropetackle is a real hub for the community; as well as offering a rich cultural experience, we work with schools, disadvantaged groups and our partners to inspire everyone and help reduce loneliness. Our café is very popular, and we attract tourists to the area, which brings tens of thousands of pounds into the local economy. I hope the scheme will encourage people to sign up with a view to supporting us year-on-year so that we can sustain this wonderful Centre and keep it running long into the future.”
Those interested in joining the scheme can do so online at www.ropetacklecentre.co.uk/ropetackle2020.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Nicky Thornton, Press and Marketing Manager, on 01273 465432.