Ken Loach, one of Britain’s most acclaimed film directors has become a Patron of The Civic in Barnsley in support of its campaign to become a world-class destination for The Arts by 2023. Ken’s support was secured by Ann Chadwick, Director of Cause UK.
His support comes on the eve of the 50th anniversary in 2019 of his 1969 film Kes, acclaimed as one of the finest films ever made in Britain, adapted from the Barry Hines book.
Helen Ball, CEO of The Civic, said: “Kes gave Barnsley a voice and representation. It is a huge source of pride for Barnsley and part of its heritage. Ken Loach has consistently given a voice to the disenfranchised, more recently in the award winning I, Daniel Blake. He raises questions, encourages debate and challenges the status quo. This a value The Civic and Ken share are we are incredibly proud to announce his support as one of our Patrons.”
After closing in 1998 due to maintenance difficulties, a detailed consultation with the public in 2002 on the future vision for the town identified The Civic and its redevelopment as a priority. A financial package saw the remodelled building open in 2009, but unforeseen structural work left a third of the building unfinished and unused.
An arts charity, The Civic now delivers a vibrant year-round arts programme, and educational and engagement activities with schools and local community groups. It is running a public fundraising campaign to raise £5m to renovate the Grade II listed building as a world class destination for The Arts by 2023.
Ken Loach said he was ‘pleased to be a Patron’: “I have very good memories of Barnsley and the people who brought Barry Hines’ story Kes to life. David Bradley (Billy Casper) has been a friend ever since. Yet what has happened to towns like Barnsley should make us angry. Provoking a strike with the miners, closing the pits and wreaking havoc in local communities was a plan carried out with ruthless efficiency. We have waited in vain for the wrongs to be put right. Well, things can change now.”
Helen added: “We believe Barnsley’s community deserves the best, and aim to make The Civic a world-class destination for the arts and a key community venue for generations to come.”
Ken Loach has a long career directing films for television and the cinema, from Cathy Come Home in the sixties to Land and Freedom, Sweet Sixteen and The Wind that Shakes the Barley. I, Daniel Blake won the 2016 Palme d’Or and the 2017 BAFTA for Outstanding British Film.
About the #Connect Appeal
-The £5m #connect fundraising appeal is to complete building renovations and return The Civic to its former glory.
-The Civic is a leading arts charity; Registered charity no. 1129765. http://www.barnsleycivic.co.uk/
-Engage in the campaign on Twitter: @BarnsleyCivic #connect
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