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Saturday, 22 November 2014

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Cumbrian theatre waiting for revamp funding decisions

Hopes are high that Rosehill Theatre’s £4.5 million revamp will go ahead this year.

Richard Elder photo
Richard Elder

The Whitehaven theatre is awaiting crucial funding decisions from Britain’s Energy Coast (BEC) and the Copeland Community Fund (CCF). Each of them pledged £1m in principle and they are considering whether to confirm their donations.

Theatre director Richard Elder said: “If we get positive decisions from BEC and CCF [on April 28 and June 11 respectively] – then it’s full steam ahead. We would close in the autumn and reopen in nine to 12 months.”

The money from BEC and CCF was first offered to Rosehill in 2012, but the theatre suffered a blow last summer when it was turned down for a £2m Arts Council England grant.

However, Mr Elder is confident that, with BEC’s and CCF’s funding, the shortfall can be bridged to allow the revamp of the theatre and barn to “create a new cultural centre for west Cumbria”.

“When we lost the Arts Council money, BEC and CCF could have walked away and taken their money with them – but they didn’t, for which we are enormously grateful.

"In fact, BEC put its money where its mouth is and gave us an initial £155,000 to progress our plans.”

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