Moray’s only dedicated venue for exhibiting art will keep its doors open after turning its financial fortunes around.
Fears were raised the Moray Art Centre would have to close this month after management were set a deadline by their bank to clear its overdraft.
Yesterday, bosses at the Findhorn venue said its prospects had dramatically improved, securing its short term future.
They did warn, however, that the centre is “not out of the woods” just yet.
One reason for the upturn in fortunes is understood to be the art centre recording its first monthly profit in several years. Running costs previously meant the attraction was losing up to £2,000 per month.
Trustee Julia Law said an increase in donations and the appointment of three new directors had also played their part in turning around the centre’s financial position.
She said: “First and foremost, our overall debt has been significantly reduced thanks to some very kind donations.
“We are not out of the woods entirely but certainly in a stronger position. Also the last quarter has seen stronger results and we have seen some positive trading for the first time in years.”
New initiatives have been launched at the arts venue, which was officially opened in 2008, in an effort to increase footfall.
A social group, branded Art for Art’s Sake, has been formed to encourage enthusiasts to meet and share ideas.
Open studio events are being run for talented youngsters and talks have begun with similar art venues across the north-east to learn lessons from their successes.
Meanwhile, volunteers are to imminently start work to transform the garden outside the centre in the hope of creating a space capable of hosting events.
Mrs Law added: “We’ve been coming up with ideas to get people coming to the centre on a more regular basis because one of the problems we have had is that the footfall has not been high enough.
“There have been some successes so far and we now hope to turn the garden into a space that’s a bit more usable.”
Princess Anne toured the building on a visit to the region in 2012. Within 12 months of that visit, the venue was forced to close temporarily as funding concerns began to surface.