Arts venue The Orangery to close at Easter

The Orangery in Wakefield. (W513C301)
The Orangery in Wakefield. (W513C301)
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The Orangery will close as an arts venue at Easter.

Arts charity Beam said it will stop programming or booking events at the venue.

It said the 18th century building, which has been the base for the city’s Lit Fest and other major arts events, is too “expensive to keep open on a regular basis” and that it could not continue to fund it.

Director of Beam Robert Powell said: “The Orangery is a very special Wakefield place we all love.

“But for an arts charity it’s expensive to keep open on a regular basis. So with great reluctance we’ve decided to close it as a venue.

“Hopefully this is temporary, but Beam just can’t carry the running and management costs on its own.”

The site is owned by Wakefield Council.

Beam first took over the building in 1996 and opened it to the public for events and projects in 1998.

The charity will continue to work at the site until Spring next year

Mr Powell added: “Beam’s work as a creative company carries on. In fact, we’ve just been offered nearly £90,000 in grants from the Arts Council for an exciting new programme called ‘Arts in Place’ and to take Wakefield Lit Fest to other parts of the district during the next two years. We’ll stay based at The Orangery this year and continue our creative work locally and nationally, including the next Lit Fest.

“Thousands of people have enjoyed The Orangery. It’s a unique part of the city’s creative life and it’s a shame to see it closed as a cultural venue given the city’s growing reputation as a centre for the arts.”