LANTERNHOUSE, Ulverston’s internationally renowned visual arts venue, is to close next month after losing its Arts Council England (ACE) funding.

The organisation has struggled to find new income after ACE announced a year ago that Lanternhouse's 2011-12 grant of £284,666 was to be the last.

Lanternhouse executive director Andrea Hawkins said she had spent the last 12 months investigating alternative business models and funding opportunities. However, trustees had made the ‘difficult decision’ to close business on March 31 to the charity could consider future possibilities and options.

She said: “On behalf of the team I want to thank everyone, of all ages, who made Lanternhouse a very special place. The mix of artists and people produced a creative vitality that was unique to Lanternhouse.”

Chairman Denis McGeary said: “Lanternhouse staff have shown great resilience over the last 12 months, and continued to create a wide ranging programme of activities and events.

“The board of trustees now needs time to think what is best for Lanternhouse in the future.”

The organisation will now start to wind up its programme and cease trading from April 1.