A THEATRE group has launched a fundraising drive for the final cash sum it needs to carry out vital repair work.

Wigton Theatre Club was recently given a £5,000 donation from Allerdale Council which kick-started their project.

The council has a long history of supporting the theatre, having provided £5,000 to help secure further funding for a complete refit of the foyer, bar and technical area in 2014.

The grant that was given earlier this year from the council will pay for refurbished seating, toilets and roof repairs, but the group is £1,000 short.

Connie Jenson, chairman of the management committee, said: “In some ways we’ve been the victim of our own success, as the seats, which we think came from the Palace Cinema in Carlisle many years ago, are now showing their age as they get so much usage.

“We’re always looking to ensure our audiences get the best experience when they visit, so I’m thrilled that Allerdale are able to help us achieve this.”

“They money will also help pay for regular maintenance work we need on the building, which will mean we’ll be able to continue to provide shows for years to come.”

In addition to the toilets and seats needing repaired, the group found the building has nail fatigue which means that within the next six to 12 months the site will need a new roof.

To make up the shortfall needed to start the urgent work on the roof, Connie started a Facebook fundraiser which raised more than £500 in a few days.

The group has also had a donation of more than a dozen paintings from both local and international artists which they plan to auction during an open day in June, for further details see their Facebook and website.

“As well as being bowled over by the generosity of the online donor, I’ve been very touched by friends who have quietly handed me cheques.” added Connie.

“This tells us how much people care about their local theatre.”

n To donate search Wigton’s John Peel Theatre on Facebook.