Pocklington Arts Centre Announces Re-Opening Plans

Pocklington Arts Centre (PAC) has just announced it will reopen to the public on Tuesday 20 July, with film screenings recommencing on Friday 23 July – a total of 491 days since the venue’s last performance.

PAC director, Janet Farmer, said the venue had chosen this date to ensure the safety of its customers and volunteers.

“Over the last few months our main focus has been planning the safe reopening of the building, ensuring all staff are trained appropriately and making sure the venue has all its new systems, resources and processes in place and working well.”

“We have sought feedback from staff, volunteers and customers and this will be vital to the success of this process. Our main aim is to ensure the visitor experience at PAC is safe, secure and enjoyable,” Janet said.

In late March 2020 the venue launched a crowdfunding page and raised over £18k in less than a month, followed by successful funding applications to the Smile Foundation’s I Am Fund and the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund.

Janet said: “I would like to thank the venue’s customers in addition to Pocklington Town Council, the Friends of PAC, the Smile Foundation, Arts Council England and the Music Venue Trust for their collective support over the last year.”

“It has been a very difficult time for everyone but their kind words, financial support and continued interest in all things PAC has meant a great deal and helped carry the venue through these extraordinary times.”

Over the last year staff have been rescheduling a series of the venue’s forthcoming events into Autumn/Winter 2021 and 2022, transferring over 4,000 tickets and refunding customers for over 20 cancelled events.

Throughout the closure period PAC has stated it was determined to emerge from the situation more vibrant than ever and its Autumn/Winter programme is a testament to that.

2021/22 will see a fantastic range of live events being staged at the venue alongside its trademark diverse mix of film screenings, live broadcasts, exhibitions, community events and private hires.

Highlights include Grammy Award winner Loudon Wainwright III (24 September), The Importance of Being Earnest by NTC Theatre Company (30 September), gypsy folk-rockers Holy Moly & The Crackers (16 October), singer-songwriter Thea Gimore (7 October), Irish jazz/blues diva Mary Coughlan (19 October), former Bellowhead frontmen & BBC Radio Folk Award winners Spiers & Boden (20 October), My Voice Was Heard But Was Ignored by Red Ladder Theatre (25 November), broadcaster and author Jeremy Vine (26 November), Welsh powerhouse Martyn Joseph (2 December), York diva Velma Chelli (3 December), the Yorkshire Vet Julian Norton (18 January), acclaimed singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson (22 January), legendary guitarist Andy Fairweather-Low (11 February) and 80s icon Toyah (3 March).

The venue’s two open-air events in Primrose Wood (Pocklington) with Martin Simpson and Katie Spencer on Thursday 1 July and The Dunwells and Rachel Croft on Thursday 8 July will go ahead despite the Government’s recent roadmap delay, but now under social distancing restrictions.

Janet said: “We always knew this was a possibility when the shows were first planned and there is sufficient space for people to enjoy the event safely, whilst experiencing the atmospheric setting of Primrose Wood.”

The venue increased its online artistic output during the pandemic, staging 18 events to over 9,000 audience members.

This was in addition to a series of outdoor exhibitions across the region, with artists Sue Clayton and Karen Winship, at locations including All Saints Church, in Pocklington, Hull Waterside and Marina, and the Tent of Hope at the York Vaccination Centre.

“We felt it was vitally important to have continued customer engagement throughout the prolonged closure period and the public response to these events and exhibitions has been very positive. We are also very much aware there is no substitute to watching a live performance, in-person, and sharing this experience with fellow audience members. Everyone at PAC is now counting down the days until the doors can reopen and we can welcome customers back to the venue. It’s been a very long interval and we can’t wait for the second half to begin,” she added.

For full event listings please visit the venue’s website www.pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk and/or social media accounts.