Charity to lose out amid changes to operation of much-used arts centre

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THE organiser of a charity event at the Phoenix Arts Centre was left stunned when she was told it was cancelled with little more than a month to go.

Jo Brazier, of New Style Events, had organised a family fun day in aid of the Costa Foundation, which had been due to take place on August 10, at the venue in Parkstone Road which is part of William Parker Sports College.

Jo said: “We were stunned, and thrown into panic mode.

“All the banners and posters had been done, and advertising. The panic was: where are we going to hold the event? Because there is nowhere else in Hastings that could put on a fun day and concert in the evening.”

The Wendy Cameron Academy of Dancing has also been forced to move from the venue.

Dance teacher Wendy Cameron, who has until now run five classes a week for children, said she was told that classes will no longer run at the venue, until after 6pm.

Her last class at the Phoenix Venue will take place tomorrow (Saturday).

These changes to the operation of the well-used community venue coincide with principal Mark Phillips taking the helm of the soon to be William Parker Academy.

It is not yet clear exactly how the changes to the Phoenix Venue will affect the groups which make use of it.

Principal designate of William Parker, Mark Phillips, gave the following statement: “The school intends to maintain links with the local community.

“Current activities that go on at the moment will continue to happen out of school hours.

“This is to meet the needs of the boys, as well as the local community.”

Mr Phillips was unavailable for further comment.

Jo said that she has lost £400 in advertising as a result of her event at the Phoenix being cancelled, and has now had to split it over two days.

The family fun day will take place on the Oval on August 10, while the evening concert will now take place on October 12 at St Mary-in-the-Castle.

Jo is now uncertain if the other three events she has booked at the Phoenix are to go ahead.

Wendy Cameron will be moving her dance school to the community centre in Tilebarn Road, Hollington, from September 2.