Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Latest information and advice for our visitors and local community

Lockdown closure

Following the Government’s announcement of a second lockdown, the café, galleries and public areas will be closed for the whole of November. We will provide further information when we are able to reopen.

Our expert makers will be continuing to work carefully in their closed studio spaces. Many of them are offering click and collect and online shopping services. Please continue to support local artists and crafts people however you can.

Confirmed COVID-19 case

On advice from Southwest Public Health Protection Team we closed the building immediately after being notified of a suspected COVID-19 case amongst our café staff. The building remained closed for 48 hours. We ventilated all areas and had our premises deep cleaned. We have followed our comprehensive risk assessment processes and Public Health England have assured us that we have followed the required Government procedures.

Track and Trace have been informed and have notified all close contacts.

“The following definitions should be used to identify close staff contacts of a case:

  • Direct close contacts: Face to face contact with a case for any length of time within 1 metre, including being coughed on, a face to face conversation, unprotected physical contact (skin to skin). This includes exposure within 1 metre for 1 minute or longer without face to face contact.
  • Proximity contacts: Extended close contact (within 2metres for more than 15 minutes) with a case
  • Travel in a small vehicle with a case or in a large vehicle near a case”

Public Health England

For information about what to do if you have developed symptoms, read follow government advice.

Updated: 2 November 2020

Temporary COVID-19 closure

We have found out today that a member of our cafe staff is showing symptoms for COVID-19. While we await test results, we are taking the precaution of closing the arts centre for at least 48 hours until we have test results back.
Since carefully re-opening in the summer, we have done everything we can to ensure the building is a safe place to visit and review our comprehensive systems each week. We have track and trace records in place, should anyone need to be contacted. We will be deep cleaning the whole building. All pre-booked visitors for the Young Open will be contacted today and we will clarify arrangements with all artists for the collection of artwork on Sunday.
Thank you for your understanding and stay safe.
Updated: 29 October 2020

Young Open visitor appointments

We have provided some special information for anyone booking a visitor appointment to attend the Young Open exhibition. Please note that booking is essential.

Track and trace

As of 24 September we have been displaying QR code posters for you to scan with your smart phone. We continue to have paper slips available for anyone without a smart phone or up-to-date operating system.

According to Government guidance, restaurants must

Ask 1 member of every party who visits your premises to provide their contact details to assist NHS Test and Trace. Refuse entry to those who refuse to provide contact details.

View the full guidance on

Updated: 03 October 2020

August update

From 3 August our opening hours for Black Swan Café are Monday to Saturday, 9am to 3.30pm.

Eat in and a return to reusable

We’re pleased to be able to welcome our customers to eat indoors again. Particularly on the more rainy days! To allow us to do this safely, we need to reduce our capacity slightly.

We will also be returning to reusable plates and cutlery and bring-your-own cups for hot beverages. We will also continue to offer take-away (in compostable containers), for those who prefer it. There won’t be a reduced price for take-away,  however we are reintroducing the discount for bringing your reusable cup.

Get a discount with the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

From 3 to 31 August, get a 50% discount when you eat in at restaurants that are registered with the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.

  • to get a 50% discount on food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in (up to a maximum of £10 discount per diner)
  • every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 3 and 31 August
  • as many times as you like

Information from HM Revenue & Customs. View full policy on the website. Please note that there is no discount available on take-away items.

Updated: 27 July 2020

Café courtyard open

The café courtyard is open from Friday 10 July to customers.

Contact tracing

You will need to provide your name, contact details and the time you arrived as part of the NHS Contact Tracing. We will not use the information for any other purposes, find out more on our Privacy Policy.

Disposable, ethical packaging and recycling

We’re serving food in compostable containers  and cups, with compostable cutlery.

Please help us to keep our staff and customers safe by clearing your table after you’ve eaten and putting your containers in the correct compost, recycling or general waste bins provided.


Unfortunately we’re not yet able to make the toilets available for public use. However, there are public toilets in the car park in the Justice Lane car park, which are open.

Updated: 09 July 2020, 5.30pm.

Café, studios and shops opening

We are slowly re-opening. As a charity and community arts centre we will always ensure we protect, connect and inspire each other; all our volunteers, artists, tenants, suppliers, neighbours and supporters. Our friendly café staff are here to welcome you carefully back – we have missed you all so much!

Safety procedures

We are observing the following safety procedures to help mitigate risk:

  • public areas cleaned regularly
  • hand sanitiser and soap for hand washing
  • café, shops and studios surfaces wiped regularly
  • card payments only
  • one way system through separate doors for entry and exit through the café
  • toilets currently closed to visitors


The Young Open is an incredible show with extensive online coverage. However, as we don’t have full-time staff and rely on volunteers to steward shows, we are not yet able to open the galleries to the public. Trustees do not feel it is safe to manage visitors around our old, narrow corridors, stairs and enclosed spaces inside. We desperately want to welcome you inside but we must patient for a bit longer.

We encourage everyone to continue following Government guidelines and Public Health England advice.

Updated: 03 July 2020, 6pm.

Black Swan Café is open from Saturday 4 July for takeaway food and drinks. Temporary opening hours are 9am to 2pm Tuesday to Saturday. We don’t anticipate that the galleries will be open until September at the earliest.

Updated: 22 June 2020, 8.30pm.

Black Swan Arts  and Black Swan Café are closed until further notice. Our office and café staff have been furloughed. This means we are not able to respond to emails at this time, although we keep an eye on the inbox for anything urgent.

Our trustees are talking regularly via virtual meetings. We will follow the guidelines which come from the Government on how to reopen safely when that time comes.

We were lucky enough to manage to hang the wonderful work selected for the Young Open 2020. You can watch the virtual tour, created from the footage filmed by our volunteers.

Support Black Swan Arts

Now more than ever, we need your continued support. We don’t know what the future looks like, but we do know that we will need to adapt quite dramatically in order to survive. We are in desperate need of specialist help to support our team of dedicated trustees and volunteers. Please do get in touch if you can offer any of the following skills or experience:

  • fundraising or grant applications
  • press and social media strategies
  • membership and friends networks
  • curating and online exhibition support
  • collating our regular newsletter

If you’re able to donate any money to our crisis fund, please use the link in our footer. If you’re able to spare some time and skills, email us with your details

Updated: 20 April 2020, 6.30pm.

Black Swan Arts Young Open will now be a virtual exhibition only. The galleries will not be open to the public from tomorrow.

We are clarifying the position of the takeaway options for the café and shop and will update as soon as we can.

Updated: 20 March 2020, 6.30pm.

Young Open 2020

We are going ahead with Black Swan Young Open, after much careful consideration. Our entrants have worked really hard to produce some magnificent work. We want them to feel proud to see their work on display in this specially curated exhibition. We feel this show could be a really useful resource for young people who will not be at school over the next few weeks.

Measures we’re taking:

  • We won’t be holding a public prize-giving and the exhibition is on for 5 weeks, so there’s plenty of time to come and visit.
  • We will set aside the first hour (10-11am) especially for older/more vulnerable visitors as some supermarkets are beginning to do.
  • We will build an online presence through images, filming and curator talks such as live Facebook Q&A sessions.

The exhibition can be open without stewards so our volunteers are under no pressure to come in.

We remind all visitors to practice the cautionary measures advised by the NHS. This includes staying at home if you show any symptoms or care for anyone who is high-risk and needs protecting. We feel the Long Gallery and Round Tower Gallery allow for sufficient spaces between visitors to wander around the work and there is no direct proximity in a confined space. Everyone should wash their hands on arrival and all the doors and windows are open so there are no surfaces to touch across the ground and first floor.

Black Swan Café

Staff are working hard to stay open, along with other Frome cafes/pubs who we are in regular contact with. We want to support the local fresh food chain and our suppliers, so will continue serving delicious food, coffees and home-made cakes as long as we can. Profits from the café come back to Black Swan Arts.

We are looking into additional ordering for customers, regular grocery orders, salads and meal options to have at home. We are offering a take-away service and drive-by pickups.

The courtyard is a rare, peaceful outdoor space in the town centre which is popular. Please follow our updates on social media and support our friendly team however you can.

Updated: 19 March 2020, 1pm.

Black Swan Arts is open as usual.

The health and safety of the public, our volunteers, artists and tenants at Black Swan Arts is a priority and we encourage everyone to follow the recommended Government guidelines.

Black Swan Arts Board of Trustees are closely monitoring the ongoing situation and are following Public Health England advice. We will keep our audiences informed via the website and social media.

Further information and the latest advice can be found at:

Updated: 14 March 2020, 7pm.