The blossoms are out and the clocks have gone forward so we know that summer is on its way. This summer will be like no other with everybody looking forward to doing things we all took for granted 12 months ago and which now seem like moments to be cherished.

The Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington is looking forward to getting back to doing what we are here for - a place where people can come to learn, listen, create and sing.

For us the past year has, like every other organisation, been one of enormous worry, particularly over money, and whether we would be able to continue at all. Thanks to the local community, support from Arts Council England and the Council we have been able to survive - our switch to socially distanced classrooms and digital helped enormously.

We had to react to whatever the latest rules and guidelines were and that’s been good and bad; it kept us on our toes and made us think laterally but it’s made planning anything other than a few weeks ahead very difficult or impossible.

The lead time to arrange anything in the arts, be it concerts, theatre or educational activities is quite long; you can’t just flick a switch and expect it to be there. So it’s been very frustrating having to book activities, start marketing them and then have to shut down again and cancel.

That’s been hard for us, but it’s also been immensely difficult for artists themselves in any genre, but particularly in the performing arts. We know just how frustrated people have been by not being able to express themselves in front of an audience as well as the huge financial challenges they faced.

Research we did a few months ago told us that local people would be far more comfortable going out to local venues such as ours than go up to central London. We’re really looking forward to welcoming them back with a programme that will appeal to many very parts of the community.

So come on down!

– from a Richmond Council press release - 15 April 2021