DISCUSSIONS have begun to secure the long-term future of Herefordshire's centre for the arts.

The Courtyard building in Hereford's Edgar Street is currently owned by Herefordshire Council and plans are now being made to continue its growth in the light of ongoing financial challenges for local councils.

One of the options being explored is how an agreement on the freehold of the site could be made which would enable the venue to expand the current provision to add new cultural and commercial facilities.

It would enable the Courtyard to develop new income to support the wide ranging cultural activity they deliver.

Roger Morgan, chairman of the Courtyard, said: “This is both a challenging and an exciting time for the Courtyard. No plans are set in stone at the moment and we are keen to involve our loyal customers and local residents at every opportunity when we go forward to pursue these ideas.

“Herefordshire Council have been very supportive through the process of trying to find new income streams to replace the reduction in funding."

Some 85 per cent of the venue's income comes through ticket sales, Café Bar sales and other activities, with the other 15 per cent coming from the Arts Council and Herefordshire Council, with the council funds mainly paying for on-going maintenance.

For more information, call the box office on 01432 340555