Constantine Cornwall

Tolmen News – Autumn 2020

It’s a bad news, good news story from the Tolmen Centre. The bad news is that, given the continuing uncertainty as the Covid-19 pandemic plays out, we have decided that we cannot open for live performances for the foreseeable future. We have looked at how big an audience could be accommodated in the auditorium with acceptable social distancing, and it amounts to about one third of our normal capacity. This would hardly be viable, and on top of that we have concerns about managing social distancing downstairs, and whether people would be prepared to take the risk of attending, small though it may be. At the moment we are tentatively thinking about opening again in the New Year, but it will all depend on how things evolve, and of course on official advice. Meanwhile, it may be possible for the venue to be used for private functions, with all safety measures in place and at the party’s own risk.

Now for the good news. Like similar venues across the UK, a government grant has allowed us to weather the lockdown without eating into our reserves. Furthermore, thanks to Herculean fund-raising efforts by CEC Chairperson Tracey Clowes and colleagues, and to the Tolmen Centre’s successful programme of performances and Barbara’s cafe, we have sufficient funds to go ahead with renovating the roof of the building. The work is set to start in October, and so, if we are able to re-start our events in the New Year we shall be doing so under a new roof and with dry interior walls. This will be a huge relief.

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Dougal Jeffries