At last, some good news...

TWO Alnwick attractions have been given a boost after grants of more than £60,000 were awarded.

Both the Bailiffgate Museum and Alnwick Playhouse, which rely heavily on support from Northumberland County Council, have received the full amount they applied for from the authority – despite suspecting that it would be reduced.

The museum, which has seen a major boost in visitor numbers over the last two years has been given £18,000 while the theatre, which celebrated its 20th anniversary at the end of last year, was granted £43,000.

It means that both venues will be able to continue delivering programmes which appeal to their visitors.

Vince Hope, theatre manager at the Playhouse, said: “We can breathe a sigh of relief. We were always hoping that we would keep this support and we are very relieved that we can at least trade on the same grant that we will be used to.

“We are in the same position as we were last year. I know the county council have done the best they could in terms of putting funding in place.”

The Playhouse is also waiting for the outcome of a joint bid for funding from the Arts Council with Northumberland Theatre Company and they should know more at the end of the month.

Tom Pattinson, chairman of trustees at the Bailiffgate Museum said: “We are delighted. It shows that we are valued and recognised for providing the sort of service that we do.

“I have spoken to the county council in the past and we have made a presentation in respect of the museum to explain the diversity of our exhibitions and that the feedback we have had both nationally and internationally has been brilliant.

“We feel that we try hard to punch above our fighting weight and we are really proud of our museum. We have been going for nine years now and feel we are well-established. We have a brilliant set of volunteers and friends and everyone is really pulling together.

“We are absolutely delighted by this news. It will certainly help with the running costs of the museum. Unlike many museums we meet half of the running costs ourselves by all the things we do.

“This extra financial back-up really gives us a great deal of hope for the coming year. I have to say I am also a friend of the Alnwick Playhouse and even if I was not I think it is fantastic that they are also receiving their grant.”

Alnwick town and county councillor Gordon Castle said: “I think that this reflects that the council will support the things that matter to the public.

“These are not just charities, these are more than good causes, they are services that people expect.”

The Playhouse is an Alnwick institution audiences come from all over the district and the same goes for the museum. I’m absolutely delighted that we have been able to give grants to both of these attractions which provide a valuable service to the community.”