The Plough Arts Centre has received the cautious backing of Torridge District Council, after its funding crisis was discussed.

The centre's cultural and creative importance was recognised as going beyond the county's boundaries, and councillors agreed to look at ways of offering support.

Since it was revealed that it was under threat of closure if urgent funding could not be found, more than £28,000 has been donated in a crowdfunding appeal.

Speaking at a meeting of the district council's community and resources committee, Great Torrington councillor and lead member for culture, leisure and tourism Cheryl Cottle-Hunkin said: "The Plough is a cultural and creative centre recognised across Devon and far beyond its boundaries. It is part of the very essence of Great Torrington and its surrounding area, and offers a special service as a multi-functioning arts hub, loved by all ages and all walks of life.

"The Plough is the least-funded arts centre in the country, and has survived for so long only with the generosity of their 100 volunteers. The recent success of their Crowdfunder appeal really shows the high level of support that exists in the local community. They need a modest amount of regular funding for the value it brings in a variety of ways - education, wellbeing and the economy to name a few.

"If this funding is not forthcoming they will be forced to close, and we cannot afford to lose this special and much-loved facility."

Westward Ho! councillor Nick Laws said: "The message from members is that they want to find some way forward to support the Plough and in a manner that they can rely on in the future and which recognises the cultural importance of the institution."

The committee will receive detailed reports and budgets at its next meeting on Monday, March 16 to allow members to consider whether funding could be provided.

Mr Wolfenden Brown, said: "The Plough has been overwhelmed by the public outpouring of support with £28,000 donated to our crowdfunder and via direct donations at the box office since February 1.

"We are now encouraging potential funders to agree to provide a modest amount of core funding each year, which will enable us to continue to deliver a diverse arts and community programme across the north of Devon and beyond.

"People can demonstrate their support for our continued existence by telling their elected representatives just how much they value the breadth and depth of our arts programme.

"We are particularly encouraging people to become Plough Supporters and to come to even more films and live events."