A CAMPAIGN has been launched to save an art gallery in Christchurch and preserve it for future artists and art enthusiasts.

The Hayloft, a not-for-profit art gallery run by Christchurch and District Arts, is in danger of being lost forever.

The gallery is one of the oldest buildings in Christchurch, originally attached to a farmhouse believed to date back to before the 1800s.

Now, after 34 years, members of Christchurch and District Arts say they face a “live-or-die challenge” to stop the building from being sold immediately.

Bournemouth Echo: The Hayloft Gallery, Christchurch

Fundraiser Stephen Docherty said: “After twenty years, when the Hayloft has welcomed artists of all backgrounds and means to display their artwork and express their creativity, it is possible that this gem in the heart of Christchurch will be lost.

“The landlord is looking to sell the property in the immediate future and has offered first refusal to Christchurch and District Arts, but unfortunately this forty-year-old charity, made up of hundreds of local arts groups and individual artists, does not have the funds available and is therefore hoping to raise the money by a grant and crowdfunding.

“The Hayloft has survived many changes in the area, but now we have a live-or-die challenge that the building is to be sold immediately.

“To lose it now would be to lose the last individual arts venue in Christchurch and possibly become yet another private dwelling or coffee shop.”

Christchurch and District Arts is calling on Christchurch residents and those further afield to support the campaign to save the gallery.

Bournemouth Echo: The Hayloft Gallery, Christchurch

A fundraising page has been set up to raise £38,000 to ensure the gallery is and kept for future generations.

So far £3,256 has been donated.

Chairman Linda Patterson said “If we succeed in our goal, we will not only be able to have a centre of operations for Christchurch and District Arts so that we can reboot our offering to the arts scene in Christchurch, we will also have a shining venue for the next generation of artists to bring soulfulness and creativity to the town.

“We will strive to show artists young and old, of every background, and those who would not otherwise have the means to hire a gallery space or put on a show.”

To donate to the fundraiser, click here.