Thanks to your generosity and that of others, supporters of The Witham have kindly raised just under £8000 with a view to improving our piano and for that we are very grateful. At present, the current instrument in the music hall is worth about the same amount. It is on long-term loan to The Witham and we are very cautious about the wisdom of replacing it just now.
This is because, since the fund was started, the situation at The Witham has changed radically. The overall funding sources on which we rely to operate as an arts centre have become harder and harder to secure. As a result, The Board of Trustees has requested all staff to put their energy into supporting the generation of core funding over the next 12 months. This will be essential to ensure the arts centre itself stays open.
For the time-being, we request that you to bear with us. Audience sizes suggest that we can realistically sustain about 3 piano concerts a year. We are already seeking funding to develop our classical programme and bring great performers. We will also work on increasing the reach of our classical audiences.
To help us to focus on fundraising for The Witham itself, the Trustees have instructed us to use the existing piano for forthcoming concerts unless a performer specifically asks to hire something different as part of their contract. We will re-visit what to do with the money in the piano fund once we have confidence that the immediate future of the Witham is more secure. Meantime, the money supporters have contributed towards the cost of a better piano has been ring-fenced and will not be used for other purposes.
We will keep you informed of our progress. Our heartfelt thanks once more again for supporting The Witham piano fund.