Ropetackle holds talks on funding possibilities

Volunteers and supports of the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham
Volunteers and supports of the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham

Representatives from the Ropetackle centre in Shoreham have held ‘constructive’ discussions with Adur council and the Arts Council on future funding possibilities.

The talks come after a decision by Adur District Council not to award Ropetackle £10,000 in grant funding, which would have allowed it to access £45,000 from the Arts Council.

Ropetackle chairman Martin Allen said the decision was ‘extremely disappointing’.

Since then, he and Ropetackle trustee Anne Hodgson have met with the council for a ‘full and frank’ talk on how to progress.

In a update circulated with Ropetackle Friends and Volunteers, Mr Allen said: “We made clear not only our disappointment at the funding decision, but also at the consistent absence of visible support by council members in particular.

“Having said that, we acknowledged the funding which the council had provided over the years... has been extremely important to us.

“Whilst there is no prospect of the council reversing its recent decision, it was agreed that we will work together to find a way forward with the prospect of opening up some new strands of funding, hopefully, within the council’s next annual budget.”

Mr Allen added that the funding would be put towards engagement work in the community.

Ropetackle has also been in discussion with the Arts Council, which Mr Allen said remained keen to support the arts centre.

He said: “Subject to their guidance, we are expecting to submit a new bid to them later this year, albeit on a slightly different basis from the recent bid.

“The emphasis, however, will again be on the development of our community outreach work, which is central to our strategy, although this is of course, dependent on Ropetackle itself being able to provide a solid and sustainable platform for such external initiatives.”

The arts centre will hold its annual meeting on Tuesday, September 25, which will be promoted as a Rally for Ropetackle.

A new campaign to expand Ropetackle’s Friends and Business Friends schemes will also be launched at the meeting.

Mr Allen thanked the community for supporting Ropetackle and said: “It is good to be reminded at difficult moments, that we our loyal community is with us.”

Herald readers took to social media to show their support for the venue.

Commenting on the Herald’s story online, Sharon Penfold said: “The Ropetackle Centre brings people in from all over, not just Adur, and they spend money.”

Sam Beeton said: “The Ropetackle is such an intimate and enjoyable venue... it is the hub of the community as well as bringing in lots of visitors.”

An Adur District Council spokesman previously said: “We continue to support arts and culture in the district as can be seen from our first-time grant to Wordfest for events that will go beyond Shoreham and into Lancing and Fishergate, supporting people who may never have experienced the arts before.

“We remain extremely supportive of the Ropetackle.”

The council is committed to supporting culture in Adur in any way possible, the spokesman added.

READ MORE: Council’s Ropetackle funding decision criticised as ‘short-sighted’