Cash grant means Halifax Square Chapel Arts Centre can expand film-for-all programme

Dave Garratt
Dave Garratt

Members of Square Chapel Arts Centre are celebrating receiving £49,618 which will mean they can make their film programme available to all.

The Halifax cinema and theatre received the grant from Film Hub North as part of the Inclusive Cinema Project so the centre can replicate the success it’s seen in widening the participation of its programme of live performance, to sustainably grow cinema audiences and ensure that inclusive cinema becomes an integral part of its programme.

An approach that will lead to meaningful change, not only at Square Chapel but also elsewhere in the North as they will be sharing what they learn with others.

The aim is to increase the diversity of the arts centre’s cinema audience across two specific groups; people of BAMER heritage and people with disabilities. Ensuring that the new audiences they engage with through the project are quickly embedded into their general film programme and that they can sustain and grow these in the longer term.

Working in collaboration with local community partners from its existing network who have developed long-term relationships with the targeted audiences, including Halifax Opportunities Trust, Gig Buddies Calderdale, Age UK and the Alzheimer’s Society, Square Chapel will engage in a series of workshops and structured conversations with people from the target audiences to help better understand the barriers to participation and identify ways in which they can then improve the offer, not just in terms of the film programme but also the wider offer which includes the café/bar and other activities.

Dave Garratt, Square Chapel film programmer said: “Through the Inclusive Cinema project we will extend our affordable ticket options and will be trailing a range of options including free, reduced price and pay what you can tickets to films to introduce a new audience to the cinema experience. We’re absolutely thrilled to have received this funding and support from Film Hub North for the next two years. We would love to hear from anyone who would like to talk to us about how we can make this work so everyone can enjoy our offer.”

Square Chapel has always worked hard to ensure that all tickets are as affordable as possible and despite the increasing cost of productions they have not increased their standard ticket prices in six years. In addition, they have developed initiatives to ensure that everyone can access Square Chapel:

Pay What You Can – Pay What You Can is all about trust. It’s about the audience making a judgement call for themselves about what they can afford to pay to see a show and taking a chance on something new. Every week there is at least one performance from their theatre and spoken word strand that is Pay What You Can.

£5 Young People’s Tickets – anyone aged under 25 can see anything in our live performance at Square Chapel Arts Centre for just £5.

Arts and Biscuits - designed to combat social isolation, tickets are designed to be affordable (£5) and include free refreshments and biscuits themed to the film.

Concessions – full time students, people with a disability, those over 65 & passport to leisure holders are all entitled to a concessionary rate.