HASLEMERE Hall has been awarded a grant of £48,832 from the government’s second round of £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Funding.
The grants, which were much in demand, are awarded by Arts Council England to support cultural organisations to enable them to get back on their feet and provide a sustainable operation between April and June 2021.
Like many venues, Haslemere Hall had to close its doors in March 2020 and is looking forward to May 17 when they will be allowed to open the doors again – with a packed calender of events planned.
Whenever it has been permissible throughout the year, Haslemere Hall has been open with socially-distanced restrictions which has reduced the capacity from 330 seats to just 150, providing six aisles and plenty of leg room for everyone, to provide film and theatre as well as daytime activities.
Many productions have either been cancelled or postponed, and 2020 was the first year ever not to have had the Haslemere Thespians’ sell-out pantomime, known to many for its quality and tradition.
It is hoped Jack and the Beanstalk will be happening in January 2022 and the Haslemere Players, who were just a week away from opening night with Legally Blonde, will be performing this dynamic musical in October with a different take on their annual Showstoppers which will be staged in July of this year.
The team and trustees are now hard at work finding new dates for films that were unable to be shown earlier and determined to get the final performance of The Secret Garden and other much-wanted films before new films become available. The long-awaited James Bond film has been postponed until the autumn when Haslemere audiences can also expect to see this locally at the hall.
Before then, the Haslemere Hall is the box office for the Haslemere Festival and are “extremely excited” to have events such as Imagine That Productions – Spring into Musicals, as well as the return of Michael Laws and the Piccadilly Dance Orchestra and the world-famous Gruffalo with Julia Donaldson making a welcome return to the Hall.
Manager Howard Bicknell said: “After being eliminated from the first round, we were delighted to be a recipient from the second round of funding.
“This additional support from the Culture Recovery Fund will help towards us being able to return to the people of Haslemere and surrounding areas and take us back to where we were successfully bringing quality entertainment and diversifying our programme and offering a range of activities.
“While this grant is very welcome and we are extremely grateful, we still are a long way from where we need to be and a Justgiving page has been set up for anyone who wishes to make a donation to the hall.
“We are immensely grateful to all those who help make Haslemere Hall what it is and for their help in making sure this establishment will be one that will be around for many years to come.”
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