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Rosehill is delighted to announce a further major step forward in fundraising for its redevelopment following the recent decision of Copeland Community Fund to invest £1 million. This is in addition to the announcement from the Arts Council in March that they propose an investment of up to £2 million which would take the amount to £3 million against the total required of £4.5 million.
The redevelopment will enable the theatre to significantly upgrade its existing facilities. It will provide contemporary front of house, backstage, exhibition and catering facilities, more performance space, a renovated historic auditorium and a home for work with the community and young people. It will also provide opportunities for new commercial enterprise and income generation to support a new business model and will greatly improve efficiency and accessibility.
Richard Elder, Director of Rosehill said: “This is a very significant decision by Copeland Community Fund to invest in Rosehill to this extent at this crucial time and is a major boost to our fundraising. Their decision is based not least on our work with young people and in our many neighbouring communities with a strong emphasis that this should develop which is a key purpose of the redevelopment.
Rosehill’s intention is to be a local theatre of national significance which this funding takes us much closer to achieving, for which we are very grateful indeed.”
The funds are badly needed. The theatre was created in 1959 and while great effort has been made with its upkeep it is in need of major restoration and refurbishment to meet contemporary needs. Rosehill is an important heritage building rooted in the Copeland and Whitehaven communities; its founder Sir Nicholas Sekers not only created Rosehill but was a significant employer at the local silk factory which enjoyed international acclaim.
Cllr. Elaine Woodburn, Leader of Copeland Borough Council said: “This is excellent news for Rosehill, the community and the arts and cultural sector in the area. As I have said before, there is a clear need for a strong and vibrant cultural sector to support existing communities and inward migration to the area.
Rosehill is the only venue in West Cumbria that is able to deliver such a wide-ranging, high quality and inspiring programme of arts performance and engagement, and is a key to the area’s future success.”
Cllr. Tim Knowles, Chair of the Copeland Community Fund said: “The redevelopment of Rosehill Theatre will provide Copeland and the wider community with a world class facility for the arts and we have invested our largest grant yet into this project. The board was supportive of the project as it will provide an exciting opportunity to engage young people into theatre and create employment. With the support of the Copeland Community Fund we hope that the project is able to draw in the funding required to complete this exciting new venture for the borough.”
He continued by saying: “The Fund supported Rosehill last year with a grant of £50,000 to enable them to work with residents and young people in the development of the project and produce the required documents as part of their application to the Arts Council. In addition, a smaller grant was allocated to enable Rosehill in partnership with The Beacon to exhibit some of Rosehill’s famous designer Oliver Messel’s theatre designs, on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum.”
Rosehill’s Team will now continue to work to raise the additional money required for the project, with a decision on a further large application due in the summer.
It is anticipated that work will begin on site in 2013 with the new Rosehill opening its doors from October 2014.