Durham County Council three year funding agreement for The Witham

The Witham is pleased to announce a new three-year funding agreement with Durham County Council, following detailed discussions held over a number of months. The Barnard Castle venue will receive £30,000 each year in support of its organisational resilience and development of its cultural programme.

Susan Coffer, Centre Manager at The Witham said: “As a registered charity, we are very grateful to Durham County Council for recognising the significant role The Witham can play in helping the Council to deliver its strategy in the south of the county. This funding will help ensure the people of Teesdale, and visitors to the town, have access to quality cultural experiences.”

She goes on to say: “Thanks to the success of many projects in cities and towns across the UK, there is now compelling evidence of the social and economic value the cultural sector can have, and its ability to deliver growth and drive regeneration. The impact of investing in culture has seen growth in tourism and in strengthening community pride, both of which chime with the ambitions we have here in Barnard Castle. Reinforcing The Witham as a vibrant community arts centre can only be a positive for the town. Having the security of a three-year funding agreement gives us a tremendous foundation on which to build.”

Cllr Joy Allen, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism, said: “The Witham is a popular cultural venue, delivering a varied programme of events and activities for all ages and interests. It is a vital part of our countywide strategy to support and promote the arts and culture-led regeneration”.

She goes on to say: “Good quality cultural venues are not only important to the local community, they also play a big part in attracting visitors to an area, so places such as the Witham feed into our tourism offer as well as supporting the evening economy of a town and the county as a whole”.

Cllr Allen reinforced: “This funding will not only help ensure the venue is financially stable over the next three years but will enable its Board to take steps to secure its longer-term future. We will continue to work with them to ensure that the Witham remains a vibrant, welcoming and sustainable community arts venue”.

The funds will be allocated from Durham County Council’s Cultural and Social Regeneration budgets.

Pictured above: Nicky Grace (The Witham trustee), Joy Allen (DCC Councillor) and Susan Coffer (The Witham Centre Manager) in the Music Hall