MBA is grateful for the annual grants it receives from Arts Council of Wales and the Presteigne and Norton Town Council. 

 As there is still a short fall MBA directors organize an annual autumn grand fundraising event.

Mid Border Arts also has a scheme which invites individuals and local businesses to contribute towards maintaining this vital community organisation by giving financial support to a specific event. This generous help is acknowledged in all marketing and promotional material. Please contact the co-ordinator for more information


Mid Border Arts received a generous legacy of over £10,000 from The Kay Trust in April 2020.

It is many years since Ernie Kay lived in Presteigne, but the cultural organisations which he helped set up still flourish. He had great organisational skills combined with a passion for the arts.

During the 1990s Ernie was part of the committee that ran Mid Border Community Arts, playing a major role in the leasing of the Assembly Rooms from Powys County Council. While vice-chair of MBCA he oversaw the move, in 1992, from a few rooms at top of the then Shire Hall, now The Judge’s Lodging, up Broad Street to the Assembly Rooms. This building, originally designed in 1865 as a meeting room upstairs and an open market downstairs, was being used for furniture storage. The move enabled MBCA to continue to promote music, theatre and workshops, but now in their own venue.

Ernie had a life long passion for classical music and was, at the end of the 1980s, involved in the administrative running of the then new Presteigne Festival of Music and the Arts. (He been involved in computer work for the Greater London Council as early as 1962 and in the early 1980s he was instrumental in putting in the Royal Festival Hall’s first computerised box office.) A piano was needed and Ernie organised the purchase of a Steinway grand piano from Adrian Williams in October 1992.

Before leaving Presteigne for Malvern in 1997, he played a part in securing a lottery grant for the refurbishment of the Assembly Rooms. This overhaul saw the inclusion of tiered seating, theatre lighting, ramp, lift and toilet for wheelchair users, black-out shutters over the windows and the Meeting Room extension.

At a later date The Kay Trust, set up in memory of his late wives, Kathy and Margaret, gave MBA £1000, which was spent refurbishing the Steinway piano, still in frequent use in the Assembly Rooms.

The arts were not Ernie’s only passion. In 2001 he received an MBE for his services to the development of Offa’s Dyke Path. While still working in London in the 1960s, Ernie and his first wife, Kathy, fell in love with the Welsh Border area. They joined Frank Noble in planning the Offa’s Dyke long-distance footpath and helped set up, in 1969, the Offa’s Dyke Association to provide information to walkers. The path opened in 1971 and together Ernie and Kathy wrote many publications about the route. The culmination of their work was the opening of the Offa’s Dyke Centre in Knighton in 1999.

Ernest Kay MBE died on 4 January 2019, aged 87, after a life time of enthusiasm and financial support to many projects.

Presteigne and Norton Town Council.