Mon, 08 Jul 2019
THEY did it! There were celebrations as the campaign to save Newbury’s Corn Exchange exceeded its £150,000 fundraising target, thanks to the generosity of the public.
In 2016, cash-strapped West Berkshire Council informed the Corn Exchange Trust that it would no longer financially support the venue and would withdraw all of its funding by March 31 this year.
As a result, the Save Your Corn Exchange campaign was launched in October last year.
The campaign asked people to commit £2 a month towards running costs, with a fundraising target of £150,000 each year.
This week the trust announced the campaign has exceeded its £150,000 target, raising an incredible £154,539.80.
With some final donations still being sent in, this sum is expected to rise.
Since launching the appeal, the Save Your Corn Exchange campaign has received huge public support, including one-off donations totalling more than £59,000 and more than £60,000 from trusts and foundations.
More than 700 supporters have signed up to make monthly donations.
Corn Exchange director Grant Brisland said: “When people come together, extraordinary things can happen.
“The community’s generosity throughout the campaign has been both humbling and motivational.
“Your donations aren’t just keeping the doors of the Corn Exchange open, they enable us to welcome 150 young people every week for Youth Theatre; provide arts workshops for older people in care homes; deliver projects in schools supporting young people with confidence struggles; present outdoor shows that bring communities together and much more.”
He added: “With over 137,000 attendances last year, we are a critical part of the cultural life of local residents and we’re determined to ensure that future generations can enjoy the richness of the Corn Exchange.”
The Corn Exchange’s head of business development Laura Jostins-Dean said: “Over the last few years, donations from the local community have grown hugely and we are very grateful for this vital support.
“Looking ahead, we need to continue to raise £200,000 each year to sustain all the wonderful work we do and maintain our beautiful building.
“We now know we can look to our loyal audiences and supporters to help us as we continue to thrive.”
The money raised will help to sustain all the Corn Exchange does, including its work in the community, and maintain the listed Corn Exchange building.
For more information on the work of the Corn Exchange or to make a donation, visit www.loveyourcornexchange.com