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Alphington has lost its Theatre.
Posted on: January 10th 2019
Section: Member news


In 2017 we reopened the Village Hall after raising £340,000 to complete Phase 1 of the redevelopment. This ambitious project delivered a brand new modern foyer, extensive toilet facilities and a well-equipped catering kitchen together with a sympathetic refurbishment of the 1830’s Village Hall. 

And now on to Phase 2…..  Our next plan was to demolish and rebuild the adjacent theatre.  Now beyond reasonable repair, we have had to condemn the building and fervently started fundraising and looking for grants and have secured a staggering £105,000 in only a year.  But this is not enough, mother nature is against us and we are running out of time as some of our grants will cease if we do not raise the extra £100,000 needed to achieve our dream of a new theatre building. 

Despite a rigorous maintenance program by ourselves and the hirers of the theatre, it is no longer sustainable and will require demolition and replacement. The theatre building is a 1900s corrugated iron construction which has a leaking asbestos roof, rotten floor boards and structural issues from the building next door, electrical problems, a limited entrance and a three foot drop between the two buildings since the Village Hall redevelopment. For all these reasons it no longer fulfils Fire Regulations and cannot be insured as a theatre any more.

So we now have a dinosaur of a building which needs to be replaced and it is our wish to rebuild an anxiously anticipated Theatre to serve the local community who have been rewarded with productions for many years. It was home to Exeter Drama Company who have had a nomadic existence for the last year, and they wish to return to provide the many productions which are enthusiastically supported. We have other users, with drama and musical skills who wish to flourish and develop in this community space. The project will see the Village Hall and Theatre linked creating a multifunctional facility.

The site was gifted to the people of Alphington in 1926 and it has had many varied uses until more recent years when it became the Shed Theatre, so it has served us well.

Theatres across the country are closing, we don’t want to lose this valuable asset and we are looking for financial support from other sources and are asking if you would please like to support our project.

Any amount will help. Come and see how successfully we have developed our Village Hall. Your contribution would help us replace a future gem and create a thriving theatre for the community.

We hope that you will support our need; your consideration and support will be gratefully received.

 

Please help us. 

 

Yours sincerely,

                                                 Adrian Carpenter - Chairman

 

                                                 Shelley Ingham  - Treasurer

 

                                                 Kath Sidgwick - Secretary

 

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