Bridport Arts Newsletter

New Year, new challenges

Thank you to everyone who has supported the Arts Centre over the last year. 2018 was a challenging year with the change of Director and new pressures to generate income.

The Good

The Bridport Prize, which is an international literary competition run as a fundraiser for the Arts Centre since the 1970s generated more than budgeted in 2018, with an even higher target set for 2019. This competition is now open for entries, so do enter if you have a novel or story up your sleeve:,uk

We have introduced some funded community initiatives which include ‘Cabinets of Curiosity’ a reminiscence project with Bridport Museum, Care Homes and the Hospital, this has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Our other initiative has been the Young Programmer, Blake. Aged 14 years we pay him a wage and give him a budget to target films at the 14-25 year olds.

Income through ticket sales has shot up, thanks to your support in purchasing for films, live shows and live screenings. We have already released some of the June – September season, do look online to see what is coming up

The Philip Sutton at 90 exhibition saw the highest number of people in the gallery ever, with the highest amount of donations taken so far. Based on this we have decided to bring back some his work on the theme of Shakespeare which will run from 2 March – 4 May. Look online for more information

The Bad

The age of the building needs a constant repair budget. To maintain the building at the standard it needs we have to allocate approximately £10,000 a year for general repairs and maintenance. Key things for this year is the roof, both over the Allsop Gallery and the theatre, which has begun to leak. To contribute to this fund there is a Sponsor a Slate initiative, we are at £3,000 of the £5,000 target needed.

Although the income from shows is up, so are the costs. When you purchase a ticket the Arts Centre retains approximately 20% of the payment. In 2018 we introduced a Booking Fee of £1.50 per transaction to try and retain more money for the Arts Centre. This fee doesn’t apply to our Members, if you would like to join as a member look online.

The stair lift up to the gallery has broken, this is a priority to repair to make the space accessible, but, this will need approx. £15,000 to replace.

Let’s conclude

We are aiming for a bigger and better year for the Arts Centre in 2019, and will continue to strive to develop a community hub for all to enjoy. Some things to look forward to are the Fashion festival (4-10 March) some events are already sold out, From Page to Screen (24-28 April) a full programme will be announced in February. The Arts Centre will be working with the Museum again to co-curate an exhibition of artefacts related to the sea in Summer this year.

How you can help?

Become a member for as little as £25. This membership entitles you to be exempt from the Booking Fee, priority booking, invites to coffee mornings and ticket discounts on selected shows.


Donate to one of the sporting challenges that the Director, Curtis, is doing to raise money for the community projects

Donate as much as you can afford to our LOCAL GIVING PAGE – this goes directly into fundraising for the BACstage Youth Theatre


Any support you can give is much appreciated! Thank you and see you in 2019!

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