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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Grant brings theatre plan closer

ROSEHILL Theatre’s £4.5million revamp has moved a step closer – after a second major funding boost.

By Andrew Clarke

The Copeland Community Fund (CCF) has confirmed that it will donate £1million to the redevelopment scheme, and pending the theatre being successful with final applications for national funding, work will start by the end of this year.

News of the CCF grant comes a month after Britain’s Energy Coast also agreed to donate £1million.

Norman Clarkson, chair of Rosehill’s board, said the CCF decision is an “enormous step forward” for the theatre.

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.

Mr Clarkson said: “This is the second of two great decisions to invest in Rosehill’s redevelopment and the significant part it will be able to take in the well-being of West Cumbria as a result.

“BEC’s decision last month followed by this one is a considerable local investment for which we are all at Rosehill very grateful indeed.

“We still have more to raise to finalise the funding required to start work on the first phase of the redevelopment this year but this is an enormous step forward and puts us within reach of our goal.”

John Rowlands, the new chair of the CCF Board, said “We see the benefits of the project being both the long term financial stability of an important artistic and cultural centre in Copeland as well as delivering increased involvement and engagement with the local community.

“As with all projects, the fund is conscious that it is one of a number of funders and wishes Rosehill every success in securing all the finance required to bring the project to life.”

Work will take nine to 12 months to complete. During the closure, Rosehill will continue to stage productions across the borough as part of its On The Road scheme.

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