In a rare bit of good news for the nation’s cultural life Halifax’s Square Chapel Arts Centre is back in business after going into administration in March 2020.
Non-profit organisation Arts At The Mill CIC, with the support of Arts Council England and Calderdale Council, are the new owners of the recently refurbished town centre venue next to the historic Piece Hall.
Arts At The Mill is the umbrella organisation for Wigan’s The Old Courts, Wigan Pier and The Royal Court Theatre who are deeply rooted in creating, producing and programming work with the community.
The new team will be headed up by four experienced directors – Managing Director Dave Jenkins, Artistic Director Jonny Davenport, Director of Operations Michelle Mayor and Rebecca Davenport as Sales and Marketing Director.
“Square Chapel is an amazing accessible space, setting and auditorium of creativity and such an important asset for the people of Calderdale,” says Dave Jenkins.
“It has been a hard old time for all in the creative sector and it has been amazing to be able to safeguard the centre’s future and to retain some fantastically talented team members whose experience and links to the community are vitally important as we plan for the reopening. There will be every opportunity to input into the future planning and as new custodians of the arts centre, we are very much ready to listen and support the ambitions of the community, freelancers and artists who have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 Pandemic.”
The new team’s first task is to try and help anyone who lost money on tickets, memberships and private bookings.
“We are looking at issuing a new 6 month ‘New Beginnings’ membership for those who had a membership at the time of closure,” says Sales and Marketing Director Rebecca Davenport. “We also advise all ticket holders to contact their debit or credit card providers to take advantage of the charge back option or a ‘Section 75’ to claim their money back.
“For those unable to claim using those methods, as a good will gesture, we are inviting them to complete a form via the Square Chapel website. Whilst we aren’t in the position to offer them money back, we will offer a complimentary ticket for an upcoming event when we are up and running. We will also be issuing them with a free 6 month ‘New Beginnings’ membership. Details of which can be found on www.squarechapel.co.uk ”
Square Chapel is known for attracting support from high-profile patrons including Sally Wainwright, Reece Dinsdale, Adil Ray, Natalie Gavin, Francis Lee, Dame Penelope Wilton, Ian Puleston-Davies, Dame Carol-Anne Duffy and Timothy West
To celebrate the venue’s rebirth they will be joined by BBC Radio 6 DJ Chris Hawkins and original Hacienda DJ Graeme Park.