The Theatres Trust

Gorleston Pavilion granted official charity status

8th July 2011

The Gorleston Pavilion Theatre is set to celebrate it’s 110th birthday on July 8th of this year and is marking the occasion in style with the announcement that it has just been granted official charitable status.

The Pavilion Theatre Restoration fund was set up in 2010 to kick start a serious fundraising effort which would potentially see millions of pounds being spent on the original Edwardian building, not only to reverse it’s decline but also to spruce up the interior with a complete refurbishment plan.

Alex Youngs, one of the trustees of the charity, explains “We’ve been taking bucket collections at the end of performances and putting on some small productions to raise money for the fund whilst we went through the laborious process of registering with the Charity Commission, but this latest announcement is a massive step forward in terms of funding opportunities for the Theatre which will ultimately benefit the community as a whole.”

“The big plan is to secure enough funding to do two things: First off, we want to completely refurbish and restore the entire building using original materials that are expected of a Grade II listed building restoration, and then once we’ve done that and sorted out some of the bigger structural problems, we can focus on making the Theatre a much more comfortable, relaxing and enjoyable environment for our patrons, including a complete refurbishment of the public areas such as the toilets and the foyers.”

“The second part of our our overall aim for the Theatre is to make it a hub for creativity and education in a way that our community would actually find useful and engaging and that wouldn’t have a negative impact on our current operations. For example, we know that our locals are passionate about our heritage and we know that they really love backstage tours of the building, so we’re planning to open up the entire Theatre and run those on a much bigger scale and a much more regular basis. We also know that the talent and enthusiasim for the arts that we have in Gorleston and the surrounding areas is second to none, yet some people still don’t know we even exist as a Theatre and rehearsal/creative space. That’s all going to change when we get access to the funding that we need to really make the most of the building and offer the kinds of practical and educational resources that would make it a really fantastic venue for everyone to use.”

“Of course it’s not going to happen overnight and we’re being extremely careful not to fix things that aren’t broken and end up spoiling the warm, friendly and ‘family-run’ atmosphere that we’ve managed to create over the past 17 years that we’ve been here. Essentially these announcements have simply secured the future of the building as a dedicated Theatre and community resource at a time where many towns across the country are struggling to keep their theatres alive. We’ve got an extremely loyal and grateful customer base behind us and we are absolutely thrilled to have been able to acheive what we have.”

The theatre is continually seeking donations and support from the public to help it raise some of the funds that are required in order to become eligible to apply for certain grants and this can be done either by popping into the theatre or visiting the website a. The Theatre also runs a popular ‘Friends of the Theatre’ scheme which allows people to obtain discounted tickets and bar drinks by becoming a friend for an annual fee. More details on this and all of the Pavilion Theatre’s fundraising schemes and programme of events can be found on the website.

As part of some remedial works to the building before the bigger refurbishment plans are embarked upon, the Borough council have recently spent approximately £30,000 on ensuring the building is weathertight for the foreseeable future and to put a temporary halt to the building’s decline.

Source: Gorleston Pavilion Press Release

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