So close, yet so far!

We had such a good plan!    We’ve all been working on it for weeks. It was 12 pages of detail, information and action plans. It was scheduled to within an inch of its life and we all knew what we had to do to successfully reopen The Spring. And it was happening!  Exhibitions were going up on the walls, information banners were at the printers, and we were ready to send a series of emails, social media posts and blog posts announcing to the world that the worst was over - we were coming back.


Like all good stories though this one has a twist (or perhaps a sting) in the tail. Another challenge for our heroic, plucky team to face before the finale.  

The fire alarm has broken. 

Yes, this is the same fire alarm that has been tested by Richard (our Deputy General Manager) every week during the lockdown and closure. Yes, it is the same fire alarm that was serviced by the contractors the week we closed. And yes, it is the same fire alarm that will delay our comeback. We are sorry – this is out of our hands.  

Our building is owned by Havant Borough Council who are working with us and the contractor to get the situation resolved as soon as possible.  We are expecting an investigative visit next Saturday after which we hope to know more.  In the meantime we can’t work in the arts centre side of the building. Not only can we not tell you when we can reopen but we also can’t get on with the jobs that need doing first 

To be frank this is a right pain and one that we’ve all really struggled with. To be so close (the alarm broke a few hours before we were due to send an email announcing the reopening date to our members) yet so far is incredibly frustrating and disappointing. We were so looking forward to seeing you soon. 

The problem with the fire alarm is a reminder that however dedicated our team, however resilient our structures and however supportive our community there are some problems that floor us.  We have been really lucky that the Covid 19 crisis hasn’t yet been one of those. With emergency support from Arts Council England, donations from ticketholders and grants from trusts and foundations we know we will survive this year. This is incredible given what we’ve been through, but we will be back.  Unfortunately there have been casualties along the way. As a direct result of Covid 19 we will not be replacing two members of staff who recently left (one being our Participation Officer which is a key role in delivering our creative programmes). We have cancelled a huge number of outreach projects and exhibitions and there will be more financial pressure on our live events, likely to result in a less innovative programme. Whilst we will do everything we can to get back to full strength and to make The Spring special, we can’t do it alone.  That’s why this week we’ve launched Revitalising The Spring.  A new fundraising campaign aiming to raise £10,000 to help us invest in recovering after the closure. This is a huge amount of money but accounts for just 10% of what we think we will need over the next three years if we’re not to reduce our services.  

We know that many of you have already donated in recent months and we send you a huge thank you for that.  If it was not for your support we would not be able to look even this far into the future. We know many of you don’t have the spare cash to donate and we understand (although please do share it with your friends and family who might be able to help). If however you do have the capacity, enjoy our work and like what makes The Spring’s special please consider donating and helping us to bring back The Spring we all love. 


We will keep you posted as the fire alarm saga continues. We hope to be able to bring you our happy-ending to this particular story soon. 


Thank you 

Sophie x