January is never my favourite month but this year in addition to the rain, the long evenings and the attempts to keep up with New Year’s resolutions, we face uncertainty. January is a time when we set budgets for the next year. What is usually a challenge was rendered nearly impossible as we have very little idea of what the future holds. We will survive this next little bit of time, but it won’t be easy. We have therefore been heartened to see that you have continued to give to our Revitalising The Spring fundraising campaign. Thank you so much. The money raised really will help to make The Spring viable beyond Covid.
On top of the usual budgets, January also saw the deadline for the second round of the Culture Recovery Fund – government funding to support the cultural sector through Covid-19. We were very lucky to receive a much-needed grant in October but this follow up application is equally important. I finally pressed submit a week ago and am still recovering.
Our wonderful team have faced a similarly tricky month as events we were looking forward to have once again been pushed back. Lots of us are working a small fraction of our usual hours to benefit from the Job Retention Scheme. This small fraction of working time is taken over by the essential and much less glamorous parts of maintaining an old building and keeping on top of the changing event schedule.
We know, however, that we are still incredibly lucky. We work in a building that was built to serve its community. We all care deeply about making sure arts and heritage thrive in our region and are dedicated to presenting online events when in-person activities can’t happen right now (check out the what’s on section on our website to see what’s coming up). When it is safe, we are committed to bringing people back together and to connecting with you all.
We know that what we are managing is nothing compared with what many of our audiences and community have faced. To all of you who have had a more difficult time we send our sympathy, solidarity and love.
There will be brighter days on their way, we are sure of that. The time will come when our next exhibition will go up in the walls, when our theatre will be filled with laughter and when we will next serve you a coffee. I’m afraid I can’t tell you yet when this will be, but I really hope it won’t be long.
Till then stay safe.