A COMMUNITY-RUN arts centre faces closure if it fails to make £50,000 in one month.

The Ropetackle in Little High Street, Shoreham, offers a wide range of entertainment for families.

The centre is a popular and well-

attended space for the community which sold more than 40,000 tickets for events last year.

But now lack of funding means the Ropetackle, named after a historic part of Shoreham, is on the brink of closing.

“We are coming to a crunch point,” said Martin Allen, chairman of the centre. “We really need external funding to keep this place running. It has been such a valuable community space for people in and around Shoreham.”

Mr Allen said the centre had become a victim of its own success.

The entirely self-funded centre has become so popular it needs professional management to keep it running.

The Ropetackle used to receive subsidies from Adur and Worthing councils but this was stopped three years ago.

Occasionally it receives grants from the Arts Council but Mr Allen said £50,000 is needed if people wish to continue seeing shows and taking part in events at the centre.

He said: “Because of the way this place has grown, it needs to now have full time professional management – we only have three paid staff members at the moment and the rest are volunteers.

“And these sorts of venues never really work properly without external subsidies, so we are looking into that.”

Mr Allen said conversations with the council about potential funding have been positive so far.

He hopes a joint effort between the community and council could mean the centre will stay open.

He said: “The appeal we launched last week is already at about £13,000 which is really promising.

“And the council does seem to recognise that we contribute a huge amount to the economy bringing in people to Shoreham.

“Sixty per cent of visitors come from outside, with about 30 per cent of those coming from Brighton.”

Mr Allen said he and the committee will know by mid September if they are successful with funding.

A spokesman for Adur District Council said: “We remain extremely supportive of the Ropetackle and the contribution it makes to the arts in our area.

“For that reason we have backed them with direct and indirect funding of some £268,000 over the last ten years.

“We continue to support arts and culture in the district supporting a range of individual events, programmes and activities.”