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Coronavirus: Future of Henshaws Arts Centre unclear

Coronavirus: Future of Henshaws Arts Centre unclear

Published by May Norman at 9:26am 10th June 2020. (Updated at 11:14am 10th June 2020)

Henshaws Arts and Crafts centre to close “for the foreseeable future”

  • Henshaws has announced its Arts and Crafts centre in Knaresborough will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
  • The centre has been closed to artists and visitors since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Those who run the site have now concluded the centre is no longer economically viable.

The future of Henshaws Arts and Crafts centre in Knaresborough is in doubt after being affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Like many charities, Henshaws - which supports people living with sight loss and a range of other disabilities - has been hit hard financially by coronavirus, leading to some difficult decisions about its services.

The centre has been closed for both art makers and visitors since before lockdown and will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Options for its future are now being considered by the charity as it battles to find a sustainable future for the centre which is not currently economically viable.

Henshaws Chief Executive Nick Marr said:

“As we all now realise, the situation will take years to stabilise. The charity sector, like so many others is reeling from the impact.

“We are now consulting Centre staff about the future of their roles within the organisation.

"We also know that the Centre and its work are valued hugely by both the Art Makers and the local community.”

Henshaws

Mr Marr continued:

“This decision will undoubtedly cause a great deal of distress to our Art Makers and their families and all of our loyal volunteers, as well as to our staff, and we will do everything we can to help during these sad times but we find ourselves unable to continue to provide this service.

"The financial situation was stretched before lockdown but COVID 19 has had a huge financial impact on us.”

Henshaws Specialist College has remained open to students throughout the crisis and the team is optimistic of strong numbers for the academic year starting in September.

Mr Marr concluded:

“This is an extremely difficult decision being taken in exceptional circumstances and our team has done, and is doing, some fantastic work supporting hundreds of people across Yorkshire.

"I hope we can now work together to build a stronger Henshaws for the future, whilst continuing to help those needing us in the present.”

Anyone who has any questions about the closure of the Centre can email: ACCclosure@henshaws.org.uk.