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Theatre hopes are high


By Peter Harris


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Volunteers working to secure the future of a community theatre closed after fire safety fears, hope it will reopen this year.

The Robin Hood Theatre, Averham, closed in December 2006 and the theatre company uses others venues for productions.

An independent charity set up after a meeting at Kelham Hall in October, is hoping to take over from Nottinghamshire County Council as the theatre’s trustees.

It would assume responsibility for all health and safety and other issues relating to the running of the theatre.

Mr Steve Emeny of Broadgate Lane, Kelham, is co-ordinating efforts to save the theatre. He said the county council was considering if the charity could take over and this could happen by next month.

A committee of eight has been formed and is working on a business plan to present to the council in the meantime.

Mr Emeny said the county council was working with architects to see how the building could be modified and upgraded.

He said £150,000-£160,000 was the minimum needed to be spent, but realistically another £100,000 was needed.

Mr Emeny said: “It is still quite a hefty project. Initially we will be looking to the council for money so the plan can be put into motion.

“We will need sponsorship from private companies and donors who may want to put their stamp on it. This could involve paying for a new function room, or bar, or whatever they wanted.

“The council is very positive and it seems things are happening because it is a co-ordinated effort.”

Plans for the theatre include making it a dual-use village hall or community centre for Averham, Kelham and Staythorpe, as well as a community theatre. This could help the theatre attract grants to help pay some of the costs needed to meet the strict health and safety codes.

Npower, which is building a gas-turbine power station at Staythorpe, may also be asked to contribute to the cost of the refurbishment. It could use the building during the construction period for meetings.



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