King’s Lynn Arts Centre galleries to close
09:28 16 December 2015
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The King’s Lynn Arts Centre Trust has announced that part of the venue’s historic King Street site is to close.
The gallery space - which host events, educational workshops and exhibitions - had previously been under threat of closure and the local arts community rallied round to save it.
But in a statement released yesterday, Rod Duncan, the Chair of Trustees, said: “Sadly, it is no longer financially viable to run such a complex venue on a largely free admission basis.”
He added: “With numerous successful projects and over 110,000 people taking part in activities, visiting the four art galleries, attending wonderful performances and supporting the organisation, this last chapter in the long history of the Arts Centre has been a great adventure.”
The centre was threatened with closure in 2012 because of council cash cuts but was relaunched as an independent Charitable Trust.
Norfolk-based actor Brendan Coyle - better known as Mr Bates in hit costume drama Downton Abbey - was among its special guests and supporters.
But while a sign outside the venue says it will be closed for the Christmas and New Year break, the doors will remain closed from December 31. It has not yet been revealed what will happen to the building.
There are also five members of staff as well as a number of student volunteers who oversee its programme.
West Norfolk Council explained that the move does not affect the St George’s Guildhall, which will remain as a hall for hire.
Nick Daubney, Leader of West Norfolk Council, said: “We have long supported King’s Lynn Arts Centre and the subsequent Arts Centre Trust and it is disappointing to hear that circumstances are such they have felt the need to make this decision.”
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