Final outcome of arts centre charity

First published in News

We are sure that all former members and supporters of Weymouth Arts Centre would like to know the final outcome of the Weymouth Arts Centre charity.

The building closed in April 2004 for building and refurbishment, preparing for it to be shared by the arts centre (upper floor) and Surestart (lower floor).

By this time, the company Weymouth Arts Centre Ltd had already been set up following the advice and the business plan drawn up by the consultant brought in to advise WAC charity. The new beginnings' project was designed to herald a new era in the history of the arts centre.

In June 2005, the WAC charity held an extraordinary general meeting, at which the outcome was to (1) close the WAC charity, and (2) pass all remaining assets to the new WAC limited company. It was anticipated at the time that (2) would happen within 1 or 2 months.

By the end of 2006, we were very close to the passing over of assets, but by February 2007, WAC Ltd had to take the decision not to take up the lease with Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, a large factor being that the annual running costs charge would be impossible to meet.

The limited company continued to exist until after the huge and successful event (Polish Theatre, Inside Out Festival) they had set up to take place at the Nothe Fort in early September 2007.

Since that time, the remaining two trustees have been preparing for the closure of the WAC charity. Following the guidelines in its constitution, we have insured that all remaining assets have been passed on to organisations which further the arts, that either have had close connections or links with the arts centre, or are active in the community in the area of Weymouth and Portland. The complete Art collection is now with Weymouth Museum, the grand piano is at All Saints Church, Portland, and office furniture and effects, chairs and tables have gone to the Nothe Fort. All the recipients are very pleased.

Two former trustees helped us with the final task, disposing of the remaining money assets. A large number of organisations in our area have benefited, with the approval of the Charity Commission. Included are a good number of groups involving young people.

Finally, most of the records have already been deposited at the Dorset History Centre in Dorchester, and the rest will follow in due course.

Jenny Hawker, Angela Nankivell, Weymouth Arts Centre Trustees.

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