30 June 2020
It is fourteen weeks since we closed our doors to the public, in what felt like completely different times. However, we haven’t stopped working on supporting our community and we are now starting a journey to reopening the buildings.
Throughout the lockdown we have been using the Maltings to provide for key services. The NHS Blood & Transplant service has continued their regular sessions in the Great Hall , we have set up a community store in the cellar bar – ‘Share Farnham’ – providing free activities and equipment to keep people active during the lockdown, which has supported over 560 families. We have also been coordinating, with the town council, a helpline, delivering prescriptions and trying to ensure the voluntary sector works together.
Obviously, as we think about reopening, the health and safety of our staff, visitors, artists and volunteers is of the utmost importance. We have looked at the best advice to inform our plans, are making changes where we can, including one-way systems, increasing the cleaning of each space, re-organising how we work. As we begin to welcome people back, we will communicate the new protocols to everyone using the building, often in advance where we can.
Our first event will be the return of the maltings monthly market on Sat 04 July. It feels appropriate that our longest-running event is the one that gets us out of the starting blocks, all the more so because we can run it outside from our outside spaces.
The 16 artists’ studios resident in the East Wing are now back and working specialising in everything from art, picture framing, jewellery to photography.
We are currently planning for the Maltings’ public spaces and café to be open in September with a programme of events for the autumn – although, at first, the number and range of events will not be the same as in the past. You may have seen that cinemas are now allowed to open however, unlike the dedicated multi-screen cinemas who rely on block busters, our emphasis remain on an independent programme which will take time to shape.
We are working towards reopening the Museum of Farnham in September. Behind the scenes preparations are taking place to ensure that the building and collection may be enjoyed safely.
Please keep an eye on our website or on our social media channels for the latest updates and information. If you want to find out more or have any suggestions, please do get in touch email@example.com
We look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Director, Farnham Maltings