Future unclear for King’s Lynn Art Centre

Visitor Guide Images for 2011''Arts Centre ENGANL00120130509165215
Visitor Guide Images for 2011''Arts Centre ENGANL00120130509165215
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The future remains unclear for a series of historic galleries in Lynn after it was announced the site is shutting.

King’s Lynn Art Centre Trust has announced that it will be closing part of the site on Thursday, December 31 as it is no longer “financially viable” to continue. It spent £196,389 but made only £185,986 in the last financial year.

The closure will not affect the St George’s Guildhall or Crofters Coffee House or the Riverside Restaurant.

The trust was formed three years ago after the site, which includes the Shakespeare Barn, the Fermoy Gallery, the Red Gallery and the Old Warehouse, had been facing closure.

A statement issued by trust chairman Rod Duncan says: “Having been threatened with closure in 2012, the Arts Centre was saved by the public and became independent as a charitable trust. Sadly, it is now no longer financially viable to run such a complex venue on a largely free admission basis.”

He thanked director Liz Falconbridge along with the other staff and added: “Sadly the adventure cannot continue.”

Leader of West Norfolk Council Nick Daubney said the authority will now have to look at the future of the site.

He said:“We have long supported Lynn Arts Centre and the subsequent Arts Centre Trust and it is disappointing to hear that circumstances are such they have felt the need to make this decision. This does not affect the Guildhall as this will still operate as a hall for hire, bookable through Alive Leisure.”

Theatre groups in the town have been reassured that their productions will be going ahead as planned in the Guildhall.

Chairman of King’s Lynn Players Chris Fox said: “It is sad the we should lose any arts facility be it ‘visual’ or ‘performance’ related.

“I know most of the team that work in the gallery and have seen their tireless efforts to bring all genre of art into the complex.”

Next year the Fermoy Gallery was due to host a major exhibition featuring pieces loaned by the Sainsbury’s Centre in Norwich as part of Lynn Festival.

Chairman Alison Croose said: “It is very sad news and quite a shock to know that it is happening.

“I know a lot of people will be upset as there is a strong community in Lynn who have supported the art centre.

“There is so much history there. The Festival has staged many amazing exhibitions over the years.

“The Fermoy Gallery is an important and lovely space and we hope to be able to use it again.”