Square Chapel has been saved after going into administration in March 2020. As of Thursday 3rd of September, Arts At The Mill CIC became official owners of our much-loved venue.
Since the closure of Square Chapel in March, the team at Arts At The Mill have formed Square Chapel CIC, a non-profit organisation and worked closely with Arts Council England and Calderdale Council to ensure a smooth transition
Arts At The Mill CIC (also a non-profit organisation) is the umbrella for Wigan organisations The Old Courts, Wigan Pier and The Royal Court Theatre. It is an organisation that is deeply rooted in creating, producing and programming work with the community.
The organisation brings strategic expertise and commercial experience to ensure quality, sustainability and longevity are embedded into the future ensuring that an important cultural asset to Halifax and surrounding areas has a future.
One of the first tasks is to try and help anyone who lost money on tickets, memberships and private bookings:
A new 6 month ‘New Beginnings’ membership will be issued to those who had a membership at the time of closure, click here to claim yours.
Ticket holders are advised to contact their debit or credit card providers to take advantage of the charge back option or a ‘Section 75’ to claim their money back. For those unable to claim using those methods, as a good will gesture, you are invited to complete a form for a complimentary ticket* and a free 6 months ‘New Beginnings Membership’ click here to claim.
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All respondents will be entered into a draw to win £100 to spend with us when we reopen. Survey closes 5pm 21st June.
Read the full press story below…
A story of hope as the beating heart of Halifax beats once again
Square Chapel Arts Centre Saved After Administration – Now Under New Management
During these uncertain times, there is hope and light for an arts venue in Halifax, its remaining staff and the community it serves. Square Chapel Arts Centre has been saved after going into administration in March 2020. As of Thursday 3rd of September Arts At The Mill CIC with the support of Arts Council England and Calderdale Council, became official owners of the much-loved venue in the heart of Halifax.
Since the closure of Square Chapel in March, the team at Arts At The Mill have formed Square Chapel CIC, a non-profit organisation and worked closely with Arts Council England and Calderdale Council to ensure a smooth transition, and putting the Calderdale community at the heart of future planning.
The commitment and support received from both organisations has been critical and instrumental in securing a future for Square Chapel Arts Centre and all parties are invested and collaboratively focussed into the new era for the site and the team.
Arts At The Mill is the umbrella for Wigan organisations The Old Courts, Wigan Pier and The Royal Court Theatre. Arts At The Mill is an organisation that is deeply rooted in creating, producing and programming work with the community. The output of this activity is both relevant and resonant with the locality whilst ensuring that the community have both ownership and agency of the place and purpose of the organisation.
The acquisition of Square Chapel allows Arts At The Mill to support and facilitate the local team to drive forward cohesive activity. The organisation brings strategic expertise and commercial experience to ensure quality, sustainability and longevity are embedded into the future ensuring that a significant and important cultural asset to Halifax and surrounding areas has a future. Square Chapel Arts Centre will be headed up by four experienced directors – Dave Jenkins (Managing Director), Jonny Davenport (Artistic Director), Michelle Mayor (Director of Operations) and Rebecca Davenport (Sales and Marketing Director).
Dave Jenkins, Managing Director, said: “Square Chapel is an amazing accessible space, setting and auditorium of creativity and such an important asset for the people of Calderdale. All at Arts At The Mill are incredibly excited and humbled to have been supported both locally and nationally to co-develop the next stages of the arts centre. It has been a hard old time for all in the creative sector and it has been amazing to be able to safeguard the centre’s future and to retain some fantastically talented team members whose experience and links to the community are vitally important as we plan for the reopening. There will be every opportunity to input into the future planning and as new custodians of the arts centre, we are very much ready to listen and support the ambitions of the community, freelancers and artists who have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 Pandemic.”
Pete Massey, Director Yorkshire, Arts Council England said: “Square Chapel has been an integral part of Halifax’s cultural life for a long time and the Arts Council is delighted that Arts at the Mill will now be taking the organisation forward. At a time when things are incredibly tough for many arts organisations, it’s great to see such a well-established institution being saved from closure. Arts at the Mill is an ideal fit with Square Chapel and Halifax and I can’t wait to visit again to experience some fantastic performance work when circumstances allow. We were delighted to see Calderdale Council reaffirm their commitment to the venue and acknowledge that this rescue would not have been possible without the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.”
Cllr Susan Press, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, said:“Calderdale is well known for its distinctive arts and culture. We know how much value Square Chapel brings to our community and our economy, and what an important part it plays in people’s lives. We are delighted to be working with Arts At The Mill to secure its future as an arts centre for everyone to enjoy once it reopens.”
Over the coming months the team at Square Chapel will be planning, consulting and preparing to re-open in line with government guidelines and to deliver a world-class programme.
Jonny Davenport, Artistic Director, said: “We love Square Chapel. The spaces have a fantastic feel to them and we believe that its location is a huge plus. Not just for the people of Halifax but for the artists and audience we intend to attract from elsewhere in The UK and internationally. We are undertaking a huge amount of work to get to where we believe the centre should be, but we do so with determination, drive and talented staff from Square Chapel who absolutely share our passion. As an organisation we are striving to offer the best music, theatre, dance, visual art and spoken word that the world has to offer – Square Chapel has now become an integral part of that vision. I believe Square Chapel is YOUR arts centre and we are looking forward to welcoming you back.”
Rebecca Davenport, Sales and Marketing Director, said: “We are really excited about getting to know the local community, loyal customers and artists. We believe Square Chapel belongs to Halifax and hope people will come back and support us in making it a thriving arts centre once again. One of our first tasks is to try and help anyone who lost money on tickets, memberships and private bookings. We are looking at issuing a new 6 month ‘New Beginnings’ membership for those who had a membership at the time of closure. We also advise all ticket holders to contact their debit or credit card providers to take advantage of the charge back option or a ‘Section 75’ to claim their money back. For those unable to claim using those methods, as a good will gesture, we are inviting them to complete a form via the Square Chapel website. Whilst we aren’t in the position to offer them money back, we will offer a complimentary ticket for an upcoming event when we are up and running. We will also be issuing them with a free 6 month ‘New Beginnings’ membership. Details of which can be found on https://squarechapel.co.uk”
Square Chapel is known for the support from its high-profile patrons and that continues with the announcement of two new patrons from the world of music. BBC Radio 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins and International DJ Graeme Park were familiar faces at the arts centre over the years and join Sally Wainwright, Reece Dinsdale, Adil Ray, Natalie Gavin, Francis Lee, Dame Penelope Wilton, Ian Puleston-Davies, Dame Carol-Ann Duffy and Timothy West as patrons of the much loved arts centre located in Halifax cultural quarter.
Chris Hawkins, Early Breakfast presenter from BBC Radio 6 Music, said: “Square Chapel holds many great memories for me. It’s incredibly exciting to be part of this special venue’s future.”
Graeme Park, Broadcaster and Original Hacienda DJ, said: “I have had great nights DJing at both Square Chapel in Halifax and The Old Courts in Wigan. I am excited to become a patron of these two wonderful venues and look forward to working with them in the coming months.”
Graeme Park and Chris Hawkins join Sally Wainwright, Reece Dinsdale, Adil Ray, Natalie Gavin, Francis Lee, Dame Penelope Wilton, Ian Puleston-Davies, Dame Carol-Anne Duffy and Timothy West as patrons of the much-loved arts centre located in the Halifax cultural quarter.
Like many venues in the arts and music industry, Square Chapel relies on the support of its community and patrons. The organisation is launching a ‘New Chapter’ donation fund via its website for anyone wishing to support the organisation especially during these uncertain times. To find out more, visit https://squarechapel.co.uk