A popular cultural arts destination is celebrating after securing charitable status.
The Exchange, housed within a grade II-listed building on Howard Street in North Shields, has secured the status by the Charity Commission after a three-month bid assisted by Jesmond-based accountants Robson Laidler.
As a result of the new status, The Exchange can now claim tax back on donations towards its future development, as well as be able to apply for various charitable rate reliefs, gift aid and charitable grants.
The charity can now deliver even more projects alongside already successful events such as theatre performances, monthly art exhibitions, youth drama and musical theatre clubs, baby and toddler story adventure groups, live music, poetry readings and open-mic sessions.
Karen Knox, artistic director at The Exchange, said: “Thanks to Robson Laidler, we now have the ability to make donations go further, either by getting tax relief on them or claiming it back through gift aid. Now that we have been granted a charitable status we can improve facilities, equipment and funding to support and benefit creativity in North Tyneside.
“Our vision is to support arts, culture and creativity by delivering an inspirational environment where skills and knowledge can grow.”
Robson Laidler director, Michael Moran, said: “We work closely with over 50 local charities and the not-for-profit sector. We were delighted to assist The Exchange with their registration process.”
He added: “The Exchange can now benefit financially and the local community can benefit from a growing creative outlet.
“It is a valuable service for the people of North Tyneside and we are delighted that the Charity Commission has concurred with our view on this.”
The Exchange has already been host to a number of charity events such as an art exhibition in aid of Save the Children, the Musicians Against Homelessness live music event in aid of Crisis, the North Shields Fishermen’s Heritage Project and Age UK’s Age Takes Centre Stage charitable tea dance.
The Exchange continues to develop from strength to strength and has already gained its first funding from Northstar Ventures Fresh Ideas Fund which will go towards developing the theatre space, investing in equipment and improving services.