MP for Sevenoaks, Laura Trott has spoken out about the importance of The Stag Community Arts Centre as their fundraising appeal to secure its future reaches £10,000 in public donations.
Ms Trott visited the not-for-profit organisation in London Road last week to show her support. Speaking after her visit she said:
“For nearly 90 years The Stag Theatre has been at the beating heart of Sevenoaks - and it must remain so. When we come through the other side of these testing times, cultural organisations like this will have a key role to play in uniting and healing our community. I have been in close communication with the team throughout the pandemic and it was great to meet staff again last week during a socially distanced visit. The loss of Stag Theatre would be devastating, not only to its loyal visitors, but also to our wider local economy. The vital role it plays in our community has never been clearer and I will continue to offer my support through these challenging times. I urge the theatre and cinema audiences, friends and neighbours to visit www.stagsevenoaks.co.uk to see how they can lend their support.”
The Stag’s CEO Andrew Eyre, Business Development Manage, Lisa Whitbread and Volunteer Coordinator Rachel Cope spoke to the Sevenoaks MP about how The Stag not only hosts events, but contributes £9million to the local economy. They explained how it is a community venue which also offers a place to meet, training for young people and the opportunity for people to volunteer.
Since becoming a charity in 2009, The Stag now sees 300,000 annual visits and 2020 was set to be one of its most commercially successful years before the lockdown.
A grant application for £220,000 has been submitted to Sevenoaks Town Council and a decision will be made at the end of June. However, even if the grants are successful to hold off a permanent closure, The Stag will need an extra £30,000 to offer shows and services and make the building operational while income levels rise to the level they were before the lockdown.
It is hoped that donations will also help fund much-needed projects to improve the building which will directly benefit customers.
Donations can be pledged at www.stagsevenoaks.co.uk.