The Bromsgrove arts centre was returning to financial health following local authority cuts, but the coronavirus crisis has proved fatal for the organisation, which needs £10,000 a month to lie dormant.
Bromsgrove’s Artrix arts centre has ceased trading, tipped into insolvency by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. All staff, most of whom were on furlough, are now losing their jobs.
The charity’s finances had been fragile since April 2018 when it lost all its funding from Worcestershire County Council, Bromsgrove District Council and Heart of Worcestershire College. A series of changes to the Artrix business model saw it grow its income from other sources to a point where survival and development had become realistic. But when the venue closed on 16 March, its daily income dropped to zero overnight. On the advice of the Charity Commission and an insolvency specialist, the organisation has ceased trading with immediate effect.
18 Artrix staff have been on furlough through the Government’s Job Retention Scheme but the cost of mothballing the business on a skeleton staff of four has amounted to almost £10,000 a month. The trustees said: “With no income since 16 March, and no certainty of returning to normal ticket sales and catering income for at least 6 months, our assets do not cover our liabilities and we are therefore technically insolvent… We have been unable to access Government support in the form of grants or loans as we do not meet the eligibility criteria.”.
Angela Galvin, Director of Artrix, said: “This is devastating news for the whole amazing Artrix family - our small but mighty team of paid staff who are losing the jobs… and our wonderful volunteers who have given thousands of hours to supporting our work, because they believe in what Artrix stands for.
“Over the past 15 years we have shown there is a need for an arts centre in Bromsgrove, the need is still there, the goodwill is still there. We sincerely believe that when this extraordinary situation is over an arts centre for Bromsgrove will rise again.”
Companies that had been booked to perform at the venue from March to May 2020 as part of the Artrix programme had been rescheduled for later in the year or into 2021, but all usual contract terms have now been suspended and everyone caught up in the uncertainty will now be contacted.