The Theatres Trust

Streatham's South London Theatre needs cash for survival

22nd June 2010

The South London Theatre (SLT), based in a Victorian fire station in Norwood High Street, needs to raise £1m to carry out the renovations necessary to guarantee its survival. Fears exist at SLT that rising insurance premiums based on the work the theatre needs could force it shut within a few years if funding is not secured. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is due to visit the theatre to decide if it could be the solution.

While the actors who run the most prolific amateur theatre in the country have raised about £200,000 in recent years, though its building preservation trust, to put towards the renovations, it urgently needs help to find the remaining cash.

It is interested in developing a heritage centre within the theatre to celebrate its history as the 1881 fire station, preserving historic features, and possibly developing it as part of a tour of the historic sites of the area, including the old library and cemetery.

SLT chairman Bob Callender said: “We are really hoping we can work with the HLF to find something that will guarantee the future of this building, and the theatre”.

The national lottery’s Big Lottery Fund, that supports community groups, has already told the theatre it cannot provide funding.

The renovations planned include restoring features of the original victorian fire station, improving the theatre space, developing the youth theatre and its facilities, and creating a multi-purpose space for use by the wider community, including disabled access and facilities.

HLF is expected to decide within months if it can help fund the project.

For more information on the plans to restore the theatre visit southlondontheatre.co.uk/restoration

Source: Streatham Guardian

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