“We aren’t out of the woods yet”

LONDON:  30 April 2020:  Teddington’s Landmark Arts Centre announced today that donations are still urgently needed in order to avoid permanent closure due to the Covid-19 outbreak, despite a very positive start to its emergency funding appeal.

The appeal was launched on 8 April with over 400 people responding.  Showbusiness heavy hitters are backing the campaign including Norwegian pop group, A-ha, Jed Mercurio, writer and creator of BBC’s Line of Duty and Bodyguard, The Shadows guitar legend, Bruce Welch and local actor Joseph May who appeared in Band of Brothers and Episodes.  

Chair of Trustees, Martin Nicholds commented, “We have been knocked out by the response which illustrates the love people have for this place and we want to give a huge thanks to everyone who’s donated.  It’s fantastic but the fact is we aren’t out of the woods yet.”

The charity, which receives no core external funding and was planning to celebrate its 25th anniversary this year, has reduced outgoings to a minimum and furloughed all but one member of staff. However, with the doors closed and no income generated from events, the centre had faced closure in May.

Martin Nicholds added, “The response makes us now viable throughout August.  We’re doing all we can to seek funding but we’re not eligible for the Government £25,000 Business Support Grant or the £750m package for charities in the social welfare sector, so we’re literally ‘on our own’, reliant on the support of our amazing local community.”

Landmark say it is still paying some salaries, utilities, insurance, office equipment leasing, accounting and maintenance costs for the Grade II*listed building.  Martin Nicholds said, “We need to raise enough to cover costs until we can fully re-open – of course we currently don’t know when that will be or when we’ll be able to re-start the bigger events such as fairs and concerts.”

The Landmark is re-focussing on digital classes and has applied for an Arts Council grant to fund this further.  Centre Manager Lesley Bossine said, “We know that many people are experiencing higher degrees of loneliness at the moment and they really want interaction with each other. Although it’s different, doing something digitally can really help provide this”.

Reactions to the news sparked an outpouring on social media with comments of support:

“We can’t let this happen.  I have spent so many Happy Hours in this beautiful building.”

“This is important to Teddington for lots of reasons, please support if you can.”

“This is a very bad time for everyone, especially charities and small businesses’”

“This is worrying news. Amateur music thrives off local arts hubs like The Landmark.”

The Landmark, which is a vital community hub provides a diverse range of arts events for all from live music, arts fairs, workshops, classes, comedy and three choirs.  The centre has seen sell-out performances from renowned performers, Clare Teal, Barbara Dickson, John Illsley of Dire Straits and comedian, Simon Brodkin.  A-Ha famously recorded the pop-video for hit ‘The Sun Always Shines on TV’ there.

To donate to the Save The Landmark Appeal visit https://tinyurl.com/save-landmark or by cheque payable to The Landmark Arts Centre, Ferry Road, Teddington, TW11 9NN. If you can offer support, please email: lesley@landmarkartscentre.org


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