a note from our Director, Gavin Stride

posted Thu 18 March 2021

News Story

Director of Farnham Maltings Gavin Stride in the great hall

As we set out to fundraise £100k to ensure the long-term stability of Farnham Maltings, I thought I would explain more about the challenges of the last year, the potential impact they might have on us and the steps we have already taken to protect our much loved venue.

The pandemic has hit us hard. Self-evidently being closed for most of the past year has had a devastating impact on our ability to generate income from our programme of shows, workshops and festivals, venue hire, car parking, bars and catering.

We have made use of the furlough scheme, received Cultural Recovery Funds, undertaken a redundancy programme and asked staff to take a temporary salary cut, however, these in no way replace the lost income. But more than this, the process of adapting to new realities, resetting the business, accommodating ongoing social distancing measures, rebuilding our audience's confidence is complex. This is going to take time, energy and resources which we simply don’t have.

Farnham Maltings owns its buildings; we have positive relationships with our Local Authorities and with the Arts Council. We have built an entrepreneurial model for the business that has served us well over the past 20 years and we are certain we have a future role as the creative and community heart of the town. We have worked at becoming a public space in our town that welcomes everyone with opportunities for people to connect, imagine and express themselves.

By supporting us, you will ensure that we can continue to contribute to the health and specialness of the town. We will be able to present a programme of events to the town, adapted to meet new requirements; to ensure that we include those people isolated during the pandemic in our activities; use technology to enable us to blend the analogue and the digital and expand our programme of festivals and informal events to adapt and meet our audience's tastes.

We have re-committed over the past year, to do everything we can to improve the quality of life of all the people of the town. That is why we have worked closely with Farnham Town Council and Waverley Borough Council on the town’s response to the pandemic. We have set up a neighbour buddy scheme, supported over 500 people with shopping, prescription pick-ups and social calls through a dedicated helpline, operated a community swap store Share Farnham, encouraged acts of kindness and forged alliances with others who share our ambitions.

We are excited about the future but we need your help so that we can become the best version of ourselves that we can be.

Sign off

Every donation, large or small makes a difference. Thank you for your support.

Gavin Stride