A MALTON-based performing arts centre has launched a campaign to help it reopen following the coronavirus crisis.

Kirkham Henry Performing Arts Centre closed in March following government guidance with staff continuing to teach classes free of charge via Zoom.

Although dance schools were permitted to open earlier this month, Kirkham Henry has remained closed with plans to reopen at the start of the new term in September.

Helen Oldroyd, chairperson of the Friends of Kirkham Henry, said the aim was to raise funds to refurbish the centre in Horsemarket Road.

She said: “In June we established a new committee of trustees and we have just finalised registering as a charity.

“Kirkham Henry is a huge part of many peoples lives in Ryedale and the surrounding area.

“We have pupils aged from two years old and also hold classes for adults, dancing with Parkinsons and the partially sighted. We are also a Makaton friendly school.

“Due to Covid-19 the centre has been closed, which, like many things, has left a huge void in our lives.

“Angela and the team of teachers have been giving lessons via Zoom free of charge throughout lockdown which has been greatly appreciated by many.

“We are hoping to get back into the studios in September and want to be able to provide the best possible environment for all pupils.

“We are looking to raise money towards refurbishments to help us in the fight against Covid-19.

“Our first project is to replace the windows in the centre to provide more ventilation and we have set up crowdfunding for this.

“The impact of Covid-19 has been phenomenal in many ways, but we are raring to go to get back to dancing, singing and acting as soon as possible and are appealing for help.”

To donate to thefundraising appeal, go to crowdfunder.co.uk/kirkham-henry-studio-refurbishment---covid-19

Anyone who can help raise funds should email the trustees at friends.kirkhamhenry@gmail.com