New Wolsey gets cash boost

STAFF at the New Wolsey in Ipswich are celebrating today after landing a lottery grant of nearly £87,000.The theatre, which reopened in 2001, was given £86,833 to carry out important work on the theatre – and bring them closer to "their dream" of transforming the theatre experience in Ipswich.

By Victoria Knowles

STAFF at the New Wolsey in Ipswich are celebrating today after landing a lottery grant of nearly £87,000.

The theatre, which reopened in 2001, was given £86,833 to carry out important work on the theatre – and bring them closer to "their dream" of transforming the theatre experience in Ipswich.

Sarah Holmes, chief executive at the New Wolsey, said it was fantastic news for everyone who had worked so hard since they took over the building.

"The building had empty for about 18 months and although we have done a lot of work this money will help us to get nearer to our long-term dream.

"We have achieved a lot but this will enable us to improve access for wheelchairs. We will make changes to the seats at the front of the auditorium and make them wheel chair accessible.

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"This will mean that for the first time they will be on the same level as everyone else.

"Another important change means we will modernise the heating and ventilation. This is important so that we can improve the environment for the audience," she said.

The theatre closed back in 1999 due to financial problems and since then staff and supporters have been working hard to return it to its former glory.

"Lastly we will be getting together with architects and other building groups to look at a capital development plan.

This will mean looking at how we can make it fit with our aspirations for the theatre," she added.

The money was awarded by the Regional Arts Lottery Programme through East England Arts and with partnership funding from Suffolk County Council of £10,000.

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