SAVE our gallery - that was the message from over 60 people who packed into Narberth’s closure-threatened Oriel Q at the weekend.

The gallery, in the town’s Queens Hall, has just lost its Arts Council Lottery funding.

This has resulted in the loss of two jobs and a question mark over the future of the facility, which has been a beacon for the visual arts in south Pembrokeshire for the last 20 years.

But supporters who crowded into the top floor gallery space for an open meeting on Saturday were adamant that everything should be done to retain the facility.

Artist Diana Brook, chairman of the Friends of Oriel Q, described the turnout as “fantastic”.

She said: “If we lose the gallery, we will never get it back - it is unique to Narberth. There is so much energy and enthusiasm for this gallery, which showcases innovative, conceptual and exciting art.”

The Friends have funded the next three months rates for the gallery space, and called for volunteers to help man the gallery so it can remain open for four days a week. They also asked for fundraising ideas.

Amongst those at the meeting was local Labour prospective parliamentary candidate, Marc Tierney. He said afterwards on Facebook: “Lots of great ideas exchanged against the backdrop of very disappointing funding cuts to the arts in Pembrokeshire.”

OrielQ has hosted over 100 monthly exhibitions. An exhibition of Bernard Mitchel’s photography, profiling artists in Wales, will continue as planned for this month. .

The next meeting of the Friends is on Wednesday, January 30 at 6.30pm in Oriel Q.