In a rare bit of positive news for the nation’s bands, Halifax’s Square Chapel Arts Centre is back in business after going into administration in March 2020.
Non-profit organisation, Arts At The Mill CIC, with the support of Arts Council England and Calderdale Council, are the new owners of the recently refurbished town centre venue which, after a multi-million-pound refurb, became a fixture on the gig circuit offering paid work to numerous bands across sorts of genres.
To celebrate the rebirth BBC Radio 6 DJ Chris Hawkins and original Hacienda DJ Graeme Park, who have both made regular appearances at the venue, have agreed to become patrons.
The new team will be headed up by four experienced directors – Managing Director Dave Jenkins, Artistic Director Jonny Davenport, Director of Operations Michelle Mayor and Rebecca Davenport as Sales and Marketing Director.
“Square Chapel is an amazing accessible space, setting and auditorium of creativity and such an important asset for the people of Calderdale,” says Dave Jenkins.
“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.”
The new team will be booking bands to play once it is safe to do so but their first task 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,” says Sales and Marketing Director Rebecca Davenport. “We also advise all ticket holders to contact their debit or credit card providers to take advantage of the chargeback option or a ‘Section 75’ to claim their money back.
“For those unable to claim using those methods, as a goodwill 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 www.squarechapel.co.uk”
Photography by Jack Kirwin
Review by Paul Clarke, you can see his author profile here.