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Fundraising plea at the Corn Exchange

An appeal to raise more than £12,000 worth funding has been launched just a week after the Corn Exchange building was handed over from West Berkshire Council to the Corn Exchange Trust.

By the end of May, the Corn Exchange needs to raise the £12,500 which will then be match funded by the Arts Council England, to maintain their programme of activities.

The Corn Exchange Trust was formed in 2000, seven years after the venue re-opened following an extensive refurbishment, and has since grown its audience and participation numbers as well as its turnover.

The Council's funding currently represents just over 5% of the £3.2M operation, in comparison to 52% of the £883K turnover when the charity was formed in 2000. In 2014 an independent economic impact study demonstrated the Corn Exchange has a local economic impact of £1.73M, demonstrating the charity isn't just a significant cultural asset, but a business one too.

Grant Brisland, director of the Corn Exchange said, “Passing the ownership of the building to the Trust was one of our suggestions to set us off on the right path and we are pleased that the council has agreed to support us in this way.

“It enables us to be a truly independent charity and it is my responsibility as the custodian of this wonderful building to ensure the arts and cultural activities we make happen here are protected for future generations.”

He added, “Every year we generate 86% of our annual turnover through ticket sales, fundraising and income through the Kitchen and bar, so we already work incredibly hard to be less reliant on public subsidy. We’ve grown and stabilised the organisation and we are in the best position to manage the additional risk this opportunity presents.”

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