Thanks from art gallery saved from potential closure

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A SHEFFIELD gallery has been saved from potential closure after a fundraising campaign saw generous donors come forward.

Additional funding from the Arts Council England’s Yorkshire branch and Sheffield Council also means the S1 Artspace can continue its work.

The gallery faced problems when it moved to a new site on Trafalgar Street in the city centre and had to make costly alterations such as a fire detection system and fire escape - without the means to pay for them.

The ‘crisis’ was then compounded by several unsuccessful funding bids which left directors talking about potential closure if no solution could be found.

Two staff also had to be made redundant.

But an online fundraising campaign, which collected more than $10,000, plugged the gap while £73,500 from the Arts Council and £7,000 from Sheffield Council means the gallery can continue in 2013.

Artistic director Louise Hutchinson told The Star: “It is a big relief.

“We were definitely having those conversations, that we might have to close.

“We had to do staff redundancies, so we lost two staff posts, we had to reduce all our overheads and look at how we can operate on a smaller scale.

“But we will still be able to provide a programme of events and exhibitions this year.”

The non-profit, charitable art gallery and artist studio has been operating for 17 years and was founded by artists.

It offers a free gallery space dedicated to contemporary art.

Louise, who has been with the gallery for more than six years, added: “We want to thank everyone who supported us through the campaign or fundraising.

“The public support helped us with the funding crisis that we were in and the other grants enable us to carry on doing what we do through 2013.”