HELMSLEY Arts Centre (HAC) is launching a new campaign to raise £50,000 in 90 days as it reopens its doors next week.

The Light Up HAC initiative aims to cover some of the lost income from this year and going forwards while the centre is on a reduced capacity.

HAC’s artistic director Natasha Jones said: “On March 17 Covid-19 meant HAC’s stage lights were turned off, the doors were closed and the stage stood still.

“Overnight HAC lost our income, which not only supports us to survive, but also the artists and practitioners that we work with.

“As an independent charity it costs HAC £400 per day to maintain the building and core staff, and another £400 to provide a full programme of arts activities which is why we are launching the Light Up HAC campaign to help secure our future.”

Natasha added: “HAC is also a meeting place for the creatively curious, a community led, social hive with opportunities to be creative and to experience high-quality arts and culture.

“The programme includes a broad range of theatre, music of all genres, comedy, spoken word, talks, exhibitions, classes, workshops, courses, cinema, live screenings from National Theatre Live, RSC and Bolshoi Ballet, as well as half-term and holiday activities for all ages across all art forms, from ballet, yoga and creative writing to choir, musical theatre and a huge variety of visual art exhibitions throughout the year.”

HAC is to show its first cinema screening on Wednesday, August 19, with plans for future classes and events, however there is no date as yet for live performances.

Natasha said: “Although we are delighted to be able to welcome visitors back to HAC for cinema, we won’t be able to operate at full capacity for quite some time and full recovery is a long way off.

“We absolutely welcome the support from the government and hope that we are eligible for some financial support but our survival right now depends on the support of our community.”

To donate to the Light Up HAC campaign, go to helmsleyarts.co.uk