Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Wyeside Arts Centre seeks new trustees to join its Council of Management

Wyeside is an independent arts charity based in an historic listed building in the heart of rural Mid Wales in Builth Wells with a turnover of over £300,000. The building has been home to one of Wales longest running cinemas for over ninety years and the arts centre has just finished celebrating its thirtieth birthday.

Wyeside CEO and Artistic Director, Guy Roderick said, "We're all really proud of Wyeside. It has a fantastic history of enabling access to the arts for the wide geographical area of communities that it serves. Some of the famous stars that have appeared on the Wyeside stage over the years include the top names in all fields of arts and entertainment from jazz and comedy legends Ronnie Scott, and Eddie Izzard, to literary giants like Carol Anne Duffy and Germaine Greer.

Famous visiting companies have included the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Welsh National Opera. More local community arts activity has seen the arts centre hosting annual performances by Builth Wells Community Arts, Mid Powys Youth Theatre and the Young Farmer's Clubs. It is an enormously valuable and important cultural asset in Mid Powys."

Over the past few years Wyeside has faced potential closure a number of times but in the face of real adversity the staff and volunteers have repeatedly rallied round to keep this well loved venue open to the public and have continued to deliver a great programme of events that is renowned for its breadth and quality.

Last year they were hugely strengthened in their efforts by the extraordinary public petition to the Heritage Minister that gathered over eight thousand signatures - all determined to 'Save Wyeside' - the second largest petition ever received by the Welsh Assembly Government. Any prospective Trustees will be very interested to note that Wyeside is one of only three arts venues in Wales to have secured the coveted Investors in People status, has a dedicated and committed active Friends group and its record of promoting opportunities for volunteering has been recognised by the Prime Minister's Office.

Equally worthy of note is the support that Wyeside gets from its key main funders, the Arts Council of Wales and Powys County Council, alongside equally vital support from Builth Wells Town Council and a wide range of fundraising activities.

Over the course of a typical year Wyeside presents more than 1000 events ranging from classical music, theatre, film, community plays and youth theatre to comedy nights, contemporary music and arts workshops.

Chair of Wyeside Council of Management, Julian Gibson Watt said, "Wyeside has been well served over a long period by a Board who have steered the company through some very difficult times. It is an important duty of every Board of Trustees, though, to build Board Succession Planning into their long-term strategy. Although we know that there are significant challenges ahead we recognise that adding new and highly motivated Trustees to our Board will bring great benefit to Wyeside and in turn to our huge audiences - generally numbering around 40,000 people attending events per year. We want to attract new Trustees who will be prepared to share their expertise and knowledge with Wyeside's small, but highly regarded staff team and to work alongside them to meet and overcome those challenges that lie ahead.

"We have some particular areas of expertise that we feel would be a priority for us to attract including: strategic finance, fund-raising, PR & communications, marketing & audience development, current arts sector experience, leadership and governance, human resources, health and safety and digital media artforms. That said, however, the most important thing that any new trustee would bring to the Board would be their willingness to fully engage with the arts centre and its activities and a preparedness to offer vital volunteer management support to the team. We are well aware from the kind of support we received through the petition that Wyeside is widely acknowledged as being a vibrant, professional and innovative arts centre and we are keen to attract new trustees who will strive to match the aspirations and ambitions of our audiences and our team."

Anyone with an interest should, in the first instance request an information pack by contacting Julian Gibson Watt, c/o Wyeside Arts Centre, Castle Street. Builth Wells. Powys. LD2 3BN or by email to chairman@wyeside.co.uk


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