Plough Arts Centre closing until spring as pandemic worsens

The Plough Arts Centre in Torrington. Picture: Plough Arts

The Plough Arts Centre in Torrington - Credit: Plough Arts

The Plough Arts Centre has regretfully announced it will close again until the end of March as Covid-19 numbers continue to rise. 

Before Christmas the Great Torrington venue had reopened with a programme of live and streamed entertainment as well as events at its satellite St Anne’s venue in Barnstaple. 

But now as coronavirus cases increase again locally and across the country, it is felt closure for now is the best course. 

Plough director Richard Wolfenden-Brown said: “After careful consideration of the deteriorating situation nationally and locally with regard to Covid 19, and after taking advice from local health professionals, the trustees of the Plough Arts Centre have taken the decision to close the venue from January 1 to March 31.  

“This decision has been taken with a heavy heart but we are mindful of our responsibility to keep customers, volunteers and staff safe. In the current circumstances it simply feels like the right thing to do.” 

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Before Christmas, The Plough reopened its doors with several music gigs as well as a festive cinema programme plus online theatre streamings including War Horse. 

A full battery of Covid-19 safety measures were put in place to protect customers and staff. 

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Film screenings will continue until December 31 but customers are invited to request a refund if they do not wish to attend. 

Planned live events from January to March will be cancelled, with customers offered a refund or invited to donate the cost of the tickets to the charity.  

Online activities will continue and the programme of workshops run by Sophie Hatch, The Plough’s Youth Theatre and outreach director, will be able to carry on as usual, though other face-to-face arts workshops and exhibitions at The Plough will be cancelled or may move online.  

Events and workshops at ThePlough@StAnne’s in Barnstaple will cease with immediate effect. 

Plough chairman Jerry Bix said: “After a roller coaster year we had hoped to be gradually rebuilding the arts programme after reopening earlier this month, but events have conspired against us to the point where the only sensible course of action is to put safety first and to look forward to a time when we can reopen with renewed confidence after the rollout of the vaccine.  

“I would like to thank all our audiences, participants, supporters, volunteers, staff and fellow trustees for their resilience, support and determination to keep The Plough alive, during what has been the most difficult year in the organisation’s history.” 

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