HEREFORDSHIRE'S centre for the arts is looking to find new ways to secure its financial future despite being funded by the local council for a further two years.

The Courtyard in Hereford has received backing from Herefordshire Council for the period from April this year to March 2016 but this income will decrease year on year due to financial pressures on the council.

The Edgar Street-based venue 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, and the council is committed to helping find a solution to the funding issue beyond 2016.

Ian Archer, chief executive at the Courtyard, said: “The Courtyard is an important part of the community in Herefordshire. It is imperative that we strive forward to continue our success in years to come.

"There is work to be done to generate and raise money around the shortfall from funding but we confident that the future of the Courtyard will remain secure. We are pleased to maintain our positive relationship with Herefordshire Council.”

Coun Harry Bramer, the council's cabinet member for contracts and assets, said: “Herefordshire Council recognises the contribution that the Courtyard makes to the cultural life and the wellbeing of the county.

"We are working with the Courtyard and the Arts Council of England to find sustainable long term solutions for the funding of these services and activities in light of reducing budgets.”

In 2013, the Courtyard won a funding award from the Arts Council of England and the Baring Foundation to work nationally with older people and it was named as the only ‘Dementia Friendly’ arts venue in the UK.