Urgent appeal to help save Teddington's famous Landmark Arts Centre

  Posted: 09.04.20 at 20:52 by The Editor

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Teddington’s famous and historic Landmark Arts Centre, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, is fighting for its long-term existence following cancellation of its celebration summer programme because of the COVID-19 outbreak, it has been revealed.

The Chair of the Landmark Arts Centre Trustees, Martin Nicholds issued a blunt warning in a letter circulated to individual households In Teddington which read: “We have taken steps to reduce outgoings to an absolute minimum, but with no income we eventually reach a point where our reserves are exhausted and we become insolvent and have to shut up shop.

"Factoring in the need to retain some funds to pay staff redundancy and creditors we estimate that this point will be reached in a little less than two months time.”

The Landmark Arts Centre has become a cultural hub for the community with a wide ranging calendar of events from art and craft fairs, wedding fairs, exhibitions and sell-out performances from comedians, bands and high-profile musicians such as John Illsley from Dire Straits and comedienne, Susan Calman as well as local choirs and recitals.

Mr Nicholds added: “The effect upon our financial state is very considerable and immediate. We are a charity and receive no external core funding or subsidy. We operate within the income we can generate from events we present and host plus occasional donations and grants. Currently that income is zero.”

The Landmark is now launching an appeal to raise funds to keep its doors open and to restore its programme of events later in the year.

Former church is centre for sell-out concerts for musicians and comedians

“The Board of Trustees are determined to keep the Landmark going,” the letter says. “We do not want to commemorate our anniversary by closing down! We are applying to various funders to help but so too is every charity in the country and we cannot guarantee success. That is why we are launching an appeal.

“Help us keep this wonderful building, retain the staff so we can rebuild the programme as soon as we can reopen.

A donation can help ensure the Landmark stays open to serve our community. If you can please help us with a donation." Go to

howtodonate.

The text of the letter from the Chair of the Trustees:

Arts and craft fairs attract thousands of locals

Dear Landmark Neighbour,

Help us Keep the Landmark Arts Centre Alive

Twenty-five years ago this May, the Landmark Arts Centre was created, bringing new life to the derelict former church of St Alban. It was the culmination of a ten year campaign by local people to save this unique building as a community arts space for future generations.

To celebrate we had planned an action packed summer programme. And then along came a virus. Along with everyone in the UK, it is having a profound impact on us. We suspended operations indefinitely in March in response to the Government requirements. The summer programme is cancelled or postponed.

The effect upon our financial state is very considerable and immediate. We are a charity and receive no external core funding or subsidy. We operate within the income we can generate from events we present and host plus occasional donations and grants. Currently that income is zero.

Chair of Landmark Trustees "We do not want to commemorate our anniversary by closing down!

We want our small core team of four employees to be retained through this crisis. We are taking advantage of the Government Job Retention Scheme for employees’ wages which buys us a little time. Three of the team are now on this scheme.

We have taken steps to reduce outgoings to an absolute minimum, but with no income we eventually reach a point where our reserves are exhausted and we become insolvent and have to shut up shop. Factoring in the need to retain some funds to pay staff redundancy and creditors we estimate that this points will be reached in a little less than two months time.

I sincerely hope that by the autumn we will be able to return to normality, open our doors again to the community and start once again offering the classes, exhibitions, fairs and concerts which so many people have enjoyed. But we cannot do this without you and we need your help now to save the Landmark.

The Board of Trustees are determined to keep the Landmark going. We do not want to commemorate our anniversary by closing down! We are applying to various funders to help but so too is every charity in the country and we cannot guarantee success. That is why we are launching an appeal.

Help us keep this wonderful building, retain the staff so we can rebuild the programme as soon as we can reopen. A donation can help ensure the Landmark stays open to serve our community. If you can please help us with a donation.


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