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In The Press: Theatre of dreams

70k bid
70k bid

A project to build a new community theatre close to the town centre is up and running.

Middleton Popstars wants to raise £70,000 to construct a 100-seat theatre next door to their existing base on Morton Street.

Under the scheme, a disused warehouse would be transformed into a theatre with stage, lighting, back stage area and tiered seating.

It is hoped the development will help smaller groups stage their own productions in a professional atmosphere.

Anne Marshall, principal at Middleton Popstars, said: "There are so many community groups out there that are using churches and community halls to practice at the minute.

"Somewhere like the Arena is too big and too expensive for most of them to use so having somewhere like this would enable them to practice and perform a smaller production."

The Middleton Little Theatre project received a boost after councillors agreed to allow the Popstars to use the disused factory as a community hub rather than a business premises.

The popular group has also received the backing of the Pilsworth Environment Company who have agreed to part fund the scheme, but now Anne Marshall is set to embark on a fund-raising drive to get the rest of the money.

Anne added: "This really will fill a gap in what we have in Middleton. The Arena is great for big productions and pantos but it’s out of reach for most groups. This new theatre will allow community groups both to rehearse and stage their own productions.

"It will also mean we can have a group dancing in our current building and another drama group practising in the new theatre meaning we will be able to expand what we already offer the community."

Plans have already been drawn up to convert the former warehouse into a community theatre. Middleton Popstars are now launching their own fundraising drive.