Arts charity appoints administrators from Mazars

26 March 2020 2 min. read

Administrators have been appointed from Mazars following the collapse of the charity trust behind a Yorkshire based arts centre. The Square Chapel Trust suffered a funding shortfall in the current financial year which has caused significant cash flow difficulties.

The historic Square Chapel in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England, was designed by Thomas Bradley and James Kershaw. Construction started in 1772, but since 1992 the building has housed an arts centre. Hosting programmes for film, theatre, live music, comedy, family shows, workshops and more, the Square Chapel recently expanded to include a café and bar, run by the charitable trust behind the operation.

The future of the institution now seems to be in jeopardy, however, after administrators were appointed in mid-March 2020. Joint administrators Patrick Lannagan and Conrad Pearson of Mazars will now seek a buyer for the assets of The Square Chapel Trust, and its subsidiary Square Trading.Arts charity appoints administrators from MazarsFollowing a decade of social security cuts in the UK, the importance of the third sector could be said to be more important than ever before. However, charities have come under intense pressure as demand for their services rapidly rises, but funding to charities from the UK Government declines. Stagnating donations have compounded the crisis, and according to the administrators, this was something which contributed to the downfall of Square Chapel. The trust suffered a funding shortfall in the current financial year, causing significant cash flow difficulties, and leaving the trust and its subsidiary with no option but to enter administration.

Lanagan commented, "[Square Chapel] has a long and proud history of bringing national and international arts to the local area as well as working with local artists, diverse communities, schools, those with learning difficulties and disabilities, and generally supporting those who are most disadvantaged, both within the facilities and out in the community. Our priority is to try to establish whether there are any parties interested in taking forward the Trust’s important ongoing programmes in the community and/or taking over and utilising its facilities.”

The decision to enter administration coincides with the mounting Covid-19 pandemic causing a drastic decline in footfall for the entertainment sector. The facilities have subsequently closed to the public for the foreseeable future, in response to the Government’s latest advice on Covid-19.