Beehive facing fight for future

The Beehive in Honiton is asking for public and government funding in a bid to secure its future Pic

The Beehive in Honiton is asking for public and government funding in a bid to secure its future Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The Beehive in Honiton is asking for public support and government funding in a bid to make sure the centre stays open after the ‘devastating’ impact of the coronavirus.

The community and arts centre has been in the town since 2014 but, like many charities across the nation, has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and was forced to close its doors in March.

The chair of directors at the Beehive Charity, who run the centre, Serena Sexton, said: “It’s been devastating because all of our revenue has completely gone.

“We relied on customers coming into see the cinema, seeing live gigs and people hiring the room. All of that, at a stroke, went and we had to furlough our staff.”

Serena said The Beehive has previously had ‘quite a battle’ with the Honiton Town Council in terms of payment but that the relationship has improved and that its support was critical to the Beehive’s survival.

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She said she had approached the town council to ‘try and work out a one-off grant payment that would be acceptable to both parties’.

She said: “It’s crucial, because I can’t see how we can reopen without certainty of where some of our funds are going to come from.”

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Updated government guidelines have allowed the Beehive to open for some of their regular bookings and room hires from Monday, September 14, but it cannot sustain itself on these alone.

Serena said the centre would need £40-45,000 worth of funding to ensure its survival until the situation returned to normal and is asking for a mixture of Government and funding from members of the public to achieve this.

The Beehive received a small business grant during the early stages of lockdown but that has subsequently made them ineligible for the latest round of funding and they are asking people to write to local MP Neil Parish to highlight how important The Beehive is for the area and to ask for support to secure its future.

The centre is also asking for public donations and said if 1,000 donated £5 that would ‘keep the show on the road’.

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