Cash-strapped venue looking for new friends
A NEW scheme has been launched to keep the cash rolling into Barnard Castle’s arts centre.
Officials at The Witham have unveiled a revamped friends organisation to help support the complex.
It costs £25 per person to join – or £40 for two people living at the same address – and in return, members will receive a number of benefits, including:
l Advanced booking for selected events
l Access to at least one exclusive pre- or post-show gathering with the opportunity to meet performers or see behind-the-scenes
l Seasonal updates on The Witham’s successes and challenges
l Automatic enrolment in The Witham Film Club
l Special exclusive Friends’ events
Ada Burns, vice-chairwoman of The Witham board of trustees, said: “The support of friends is going to be fundamental to The Witham’s long-term success.
“The board, staff and volunteers are working hard to ensure that there is something for everyone in The Witham programme.
“We ask our local community to continue to support Barnard Castle’s community arts centre by joining our friends scheme, enabling The Witham to be increasingly sustainable in the coming years.’”
Among the first to sign up to the scheme was Lusia McAnna, who, as one of the centre’s volunteers, is a familiar face to showgoers.
She said: “The Witham is in my opinion the cultural heart of our marvellous town.
“It is run for the community and to a great degree by the community.
“It builds bonds of friendship and support across all ages and persuasions and creates a real spirit of community in the town.”
She added: “Very few small rural towns like ours have access to such a fantastic resource and we must do what we can to ensure its survival in these difficult financial times.
“Barney would be a much sadder place to live without it as it brings entertainment, education, music, drama, comedy, and dance to so many of us.”
For more details, or to join the relaunched friends scheme, go to www.the witham.org.uk.
Details are also available in person from the box office during centre opening hours or alternatively by calling 01833 631107.