The Plough Arts Centre is getting ready to reopen on November 5 but has issued a plea for volunteers to help out.

The popular Great Torrington has faced uncertainty for months due to a funding crisis and then the onset of the pandemic and lockdown.

It has recently been awarded a £25,000 grant from Torridge District Council and it has also just received news of another £73,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund.

The centre intends to initially open on a reduced working schedule of three days per week, and provide a combination of film and live events, along with workshops and exhibitions plus the usual Christmas Craft Fair.

But the trust has said after being forced to make 15 long serving staff redundant, as the only way to make the business viable for the future, The Plough will be need to operate with more volunteers if it is to reopen successfully.

Chairman of trustees John Eeles said the latest funding had given the financial confidence to restart operations. He said: “An initial six months operating period has been outlined, and future events going further into 2021 will be announced when the Covid situation is clearer.

“A lot of hard work went into the grant application, and we are especially grateful to the members of staff and trustees for their time and effort in putting in such a successful bid.

“We are all enormously happy to know that - given any ongoing restrictions - we will be able to start providing an arts and community programme again for Torridge and North Devon from our Covid secure base in Great Torrington.”

There are numerous volunteer roles available across the centre, including technicians, projectionists, welcoming team, event stewards, marketing, bar and café.

All are welcome to get involved and all necessary training will be provided – The Plough has suggested people might want to form a small group of like-minded friends, within coronavirus restrictions, and volunteer together.

Plough director Richard Wolfenden-Brown said: “We are thrilled to be able to reopen with a bang on Bonfire Night and are confident that we can gradually rebuild the organisation for the benefit of the whole community.

“We will be a Covid-secure venue with advance sales only, reduced capacity and social distancing in place so that audiences can safely enjoy 21 days of screenings, events, exhibitions and workshops between November 5 and Christmas.”

The Plough has also created a new live streaming service for some on live stage events, which people can watch at home for a nominal fee or donation.

To find out about volunteering or the new programme, go to www.theploughartscentre.org.uk .