AN appeal set up to help safeguard the future of Helmsley Arts Centre (HAC) has exceeded its original target.

The centre’s Light Up HAC appeal, which was launched in August to raise £50,000 in a bid to cover losses incurred during the Covid-19 closure, has raised £65,476 with donations from more than 400 supporters.

Artistic director Natasha Jones said: “We have been absolutely blown away by the generosity and kindness of our community and supporters.

“On behalf of all of us at HAC, I would like to thank everyone for their donations and good wishes. Every donation, small or large, has helped us to reach - and pass - our goal

“In turn, that will allow us to keep providing events and opportunities for our community, and for the freelance artists and arts practitioners we work with.

“We are delighted and we can’t wait until we can open our doors again.”

Natasha said that 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.

She said: “The money raised from the Light Up appeal, along with a £50,000 grant from Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund, gives HAC the means to recover from the financial impact of Covid-19 and maintain our varied programme of music, theatre, cinema, exhibitions and workshops.”

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.

“We cater 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.”

For more information about Helmsley Arts Centre, go to