Final preparations for theatre renovation

Photo Neil Cross
George Mackin, architect, right with Alex Tagg, Dennis Yardley and PatrickBracewell of the Preston Playhouse  fundraising team who have beengiven �30k funding to improve access in the foyer
Photo Neil Cross George Mackin, architect, right with Alex Tagg, Dennis Yardley and PatrickBracewell of the Preston Playhouse fundraising team who have beengiven �30k funding to improve access in the foyer
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Preston’s longest running theatre, has been given a £30,000 boost towards refurbishing its foyer.

The Playhouse in Market Street West secured the grant from the Lancashire Environmental Fund to enhance and update the facilities for patrons, particularly the elderly and less able. It is also hoped work can be done to reduce energy costs.

The work, set to start on July 4, will be in two phases.

Phase one involves widening an arch, installation of new stairs, handrails, doors, lighting, signage, floor coverings and lower ceilings. It also includes insulating floors and installing new kitchen facilities.

Phase two involves refurbishing the main foyer, installing new entrance doors, a new box office facility, lighting, signage and installationn of more insulation.

The total cost for both phases is approximately £115,000, with the theatre fundraising for the remainder by way of by way of shows, donations and grant applications.

Alex Tagg, chairman of the fund-raising committee, said: “It’s all part of the wider project to improve facilities at the Playhouse.

“It’s going to be better for the patrons in general and it will improve things for me and my team.”

The theatre, which is run as a charity, is the home of two drama groups, a Saturday drama school for young people and is the venue for plays, an annual pantomime and other shows presented by a number of local amateur groups, catering for all ages andbackgrounds.

Financially, The Playhouse is generally self-sufficient because all the staffing and maintenance is carried out by volunteers and any profits generated are ploughed back into the development of the premises.

Even the architect for the redevelopment, George Mackin of Grimsargh, is doing his bit.

He will appear on stage at The Playhouse this week as an actor in ‘Plays for a Laugh’, a fund raising show for the project which consists of three short comedies.

The show will be performed each night from tonight to Saturday by the three drama groups who use the theatre.

The first set of work is set to be completed at the end of August, ready for the new season.