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Bid for purpose built theatre back on the agenda

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PROPOSALS for a new purpose built theatre in Warrington are now back on the agenda, following a well attended meeting of interested parties at the town hall.

Hosted by Warrington & District Arts Council, Warrington Civic Society and Theatre for Warrington, it was agreed seek support from the borough council to help fund suitable premises and assist with grant funding, following a commissioned feasibility study.

It was also agreed to form a group of interested parties to help move the proposal forward.

A total of £3,000 collected during a previous campaign will be used towards the feasibility study.

It was agreed that with a possible bid to be City of Culture on the horizon there has been renewed interest in getting a theatre in the town.

Michael Berry and John Anson from the Empire Theatre in Blackburn attended the meeting, to outline how they had been successful in creating a purpose built theatre, while David Cockayne, a theatre designer based in Lymm, spoke about what was required to provide a suitable theatre space in the town.

Former Cllr Celia Jordan, who has been campaigning for a purpose built theatre in Warrington for many years said: “It is fantastic to see how many people have turned up to show their support and interest in a theatre for Warrington.

“Our aim is to push this project forward and get some real momentum behind it.

“It is shameful that a town the size of Warrington with a population of over 210,000 people doesn’t have a proper theatre.

“I know we have the Parr Hall but that is a concert hall. We currently have our amateur groups in Warrington going out of town to the Brindley at Runcorn.

“Where are we going to produce the next Pete Postlethwaite or Rick Astley if we don’t have a proper theatre?”

After hearing from the Blackburn representatives on their successful fund-raising campaign Cllr Dan Price, who is heading up Warrington’s bid for City of Culture, said: “It is clear there is a huge desire in the town to have a theatre.

“But there needs to be some independent documentation towards this with a business study.”

He also said it would be wrong to “destabilise” Culture Warrington by opening one new theatre space and then having to close another at the Pyramid.

“There has got to be a way to work together,” he said.

Anyone interested in supporting the theatre campaign should email wadac@outlook.com or ring 07730567138.

theatre-group-audience

Members of the audience at the well attended meeting

The Empire Theatre at Blackburn

The Empire Theatre at Blackburn

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About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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