A local theatre needs help to avoid damaging cuts to its programme and services within the community.

For over 45 years the Torch Theatre has been flying the flag for the arts in Pembrokeshire, with the wellbeing of the people in our community at the forefront of all they do. But now the theatre needs the help of the community as they announce a major fundraising drive over the next six months. 

Ben at the Torch
Benjamin Lloyd, the Torch Theatre's Executive Director (The Torch Theatre)

Recent cuts to local authority budgets means Pembrokeshire County Council has been forced to pass on a 93 per cent cut to the theatre’s funding which, combined with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic downturn, has left the Torch (which is a registered charity) with a funding gap of £250,000 that they are working urgently to fill. 

Financial stability is imperative, and the support of core funders contributes toward maintaining basic operation. However, the majority of the theatre’s income is self-generated.

Well-known across Wales, the Torch in Milford Haven delivers 2,000 events and activities each year, with more than 100,000 people coming through the doors from Pembrokeshire and beyond to find entertainment, fun, friends, learning, growth, new experiences and joy. It delivers enriching activities and opportunities that fill a special place in people’s lives, with a focus on the most vulnerable, isolated and in need of support.

The Torch’s celebrated Youth Theatre provides a safe and nurturing creative space for young people to develop skills for life and a lifelong relationship with the arts. Inclusive and non-judgemental, the programme creates a sense of belonging and social inclusion, and is subsidised to ensure that our young people can flourish, whatever their economic circumstances. 

Other activities include joyful community choir Torch Voices, Adult Creative Classes, relaxed shows and films for neurodivergent audience members and others who may benefit from a relaxed environment, and accessible film screenings for Deaf audiences. Supporting the vital work of the Welsh National Opera Cradle Choir for those living with dementia, Arts Care’s disabled people’s movement group My Moves, and Pembrokeshire People First’s theatre company starring disabled adults, the Torch is also home to amateur groups, providing a stage for Milford Haven Amateur Operatic Society, FF Dancers and many more.

Support can come in many forms; as a one-off gift or by becoming a regular donor, by joining the membership scheme, by becoming a Friend of the Torch as a volunteer, by leaving a legacy, or simply by buying a ticket and enjoying a meal in Café Torch. For businesses, there is a range of opportunities to work together through partnership arrangements, by sponsoring specific activities or by advertising with the Torch and reaching audiences of 100,000 from across Pembrokeshire and beyond.

The Torch Theatre auditorium
Auditorium (The Torch Theatre)

Supporting the Torch means supporting the economy in Pembrokeshire; supporting local businesses, schools and colleges, and the tourist economy. Anyone can make a donation or join as a volunteer to help them ‘Caru the Torch’.

For anyone wishing to offer support of any kind, you can talk to the Torch team by emailing [email protected], calling 01646 401714 or popping into the Box Office for a chat.