HEREFORD'S Courtyard arts centre has confirmed a fresh funding deal with Herefordshire Council.

As secured, the funding - which reflects the cash-strapped council's present and future budget popsition - will last from April this year until March 2016.

Confirming the deal today (Friday), the council cited its "appreciation"  of the contribution the Courtyard made to the county. That confirmation comes with a committment to working with the Courtyard to secure the centre's finances over the long-term.

The Courtyard has been active in generating its own funding schemes to make up for the decrease of long term funding including the Fifteenth Anniversary Fund and its Christmas Appeal.

Over 2013, The Courtyard broke new ground with new ways of working, which included a funding award from the Arts Council of England and the Baring Foundation to work nationally with older people. In February last year, The Courtyard was named as the only ‘Dementia Friendly’ arts venue in the UK.

Ian Archer, Chief Executive at The Courtyard, said there was still "work to done" in generating and raising money, but he was confident that the future for the centre would remain secure.

Councillor Harry Bramer, Cabinet Member for Contracts and Assets , said that in recognising the contribution the Courtyard made, the council was ready to work with the centre and the Arts Council of England to find "sustainable long term solutions" for its funding.