The Save Your Corn Exchange campaign is asking audiences, participants and supporters to commit to £2 a month towards the running of the Newbury arts venue with a fundraising target of £150,000 a year.
The campaign, which is the first of its kind to be launched by the Trust, is in response to the charity losing all of its funding from West Berkshire Council from April 2019. The aim is to sign up regular givers in order to provide the organisation with a stable funding source. This will ensure its current activities, and safeguard the future of the organisation.
Grant Brisland, the Corn Exchange’s director said: “We know the community cares about the Corn Exchange and all of our activities. In our moment of greatest need, we are asking everyone to support us. If 6,250 people give £2 a month, we can reach our target of £150,000 a year. In supporting us, you will be safeguarding the Corn Exchange now and for future generations. Together we can achieve great things.”
Against a backdrop of continuing reductions in public spending, the council informed the Corn Exchange Trust in July 2016 that they were no longer in a position to financially invest in the Corn Exchange when the current contract ends in March 2019. Earlier this year, West Berkshire Council announced they would transfer the ownership of the Corn Exchange building to the Corn Exchange Trust to assist them in their long term sustainable plan; but the charity still needs to raise funds to support the on-going operational costs.
Mr Brisland went on to say: “Since 2016 we have been working hard to increase our reach and footfall, which in turn increases our turnover and helps us to be more sustainable. Investment from the local authority now represents just 6% of our turnover. However, this 6% is vital if we are to continue the positive impact we have in the District. In 2017 we secured ongoing investment from Arts Council England, until 2022, and with the ongoing support of Greenham Trust, we believe the Corn Exchange has a bright and positive future if we can fill the gap left by the local authority funding cut.”
The Corn Exchange engages with over 130,000 people a year through its varied live events programme, extensive learning and participation work and free outdoor events.
How to Donate
Those who wish to sign up to giving a monthly donation should visit saveyourcornexchange.com to complete a direct debit form, or call 01635 582666 to talk to a member of the development team; alternatively, paper copies of the form can be picked up from the Corn Exchange Box Office.