Preserving & Celebrating Our Heritage Part III – Future plans 2020 – 2024
During the years between now and the opening of the Arts Centre at ORL we will be building upon the work already done.
• As ORL takes shape we will be working closely with them to develop a strong and complementary new programme, with an emphasis for us on local – particularly, but not exclusively – amateur drama, musical theatre and live music, providing additional educational, cultural and heritage events and facilities for everyone. We already have successful links with our local community and host several informal clubs as well our regular classes in dance and theatre arts.
• We will be re-purposing some of our facilities to help us develop this further, so that we can stay at the heart of the growing community, providing a sympathetic, understanding and welcoming venue that will give local performing arts groups the confidence to spread their wings and reach local audiences at affordable rates.
• Museum development will get a major boost, with a full re-display of its collection, easier digital access to the catalogue, and further development of its outreach facilities, taking the museum to the people and helping us to celebrate our heritage whilst supporting our local schools and families.
• Switching to CIO governance will trigger a re-naming of the complex, giving it a new identity that sits easier with society at large and which reflects the exciting new role that it will play on the journey that our town will take into the future.
• Change will take place against a background of business as usual at the complex. It will be gradual and as seamless as we can achieve, with completion expected around the time that the centre at ORL opens its doors for business.
We are delighted that the Town Council continues to support the venue by awarding us an annual grant in exchange for achievement of key performance targets relating to income, footfall, etc.
The most recent agreement was signed off with the Town Council in Autumn 2019. The trust receives an annual grant of £255,000 as a contribution towards the running costs of the museum, theatre, cinema and other community facilities within the venue. This agreement Is In place for four years or until the ORL Arts Centre opens for business, whichever comes first.
Our plans beyond the opening of the ORL Arts Centre will be dependent on some grant funding from the Town Council, to ensure that the Bishop’s Stortford museum and arts venue remains a Heritage & Arts Centre that is a vibrant place that members of our local community, and also those further afield, will be keen to visit, use and enjoy.