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Monday, 06 July 2015

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BEC honours £1.1m pledge to Rosehill

ROSEHILL Theatre is celebrating a major funding boost towards its £4.5million revamp.

by Andrew Clarke

Britain’s Energy Coast (BEC) has announced this week that it will honour its £1.108million commitment towards the renovation. And if, as expected, Copeland Community Fund (CCF) agrees to honour its £1m pledge next month, the revamp will go ahead.

Theatre director Richard Elder said he is “delighted” with the news.

The revamp will deliver 26 jobs plus eight apprentice/work experience places. The theatre will have new front-of-house, backstage, exhibition and performance space, a renovated historic auditorium and a home for work with the community and young people. The new restaurant facilities will incorporate students from Lakes College.

Steven Szostak, BEC chief executive, said: “This decision sees BEC honour a commitment made almost two years ago to invest in the redevelopment of a key leisure and cultural facility for West Cumbria.

“This investment is in a project which began its development before the publication of the West Cumbria Economic Blueprint and, more latterly, a review of BEC’s activities by its nuclear funders and is a demonstration of BEC sticking to its word.

“We have been encouraged by Rosehill’s commitment to create jobs, including apprentice opportunities, as well as looking at ways in which it can engage the community with the arts.

“The project has a role to play in improving the leisure and cultural fabric of the area and raising aspirations and involvement of young people in particular.”

Mr Elder added: “We are delighted that BEC has confirmed the funding, whose considerable support has been and will be an essential part of attracting other significant funding with which to find new and innovative ways to finance arts and entertainment.

“The advance funding BEC made available earlier this year has kept our redevelopment plans alive and resulted in further national government funding which could lead to the formation of a community enterprise at Rosehill; this would be a ground-breaking approach to our future funding.

“In addition, we wait for other funding decisions to fall into place to complete the jigsaw.”

It is planned that the theatre will close in the autumn and reopen in nine to 12 months.

The second crucial funding decision, from CCF, is due on June 11. Its chair Tim Knowles said: “It is very good news that BEC has reconfirmed its significant grant. I hope that we will also commit the £1 million earmarked for this uniquely exciting project.”

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