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Lowestoft's Marina Theatre marks year of success

Martin Halliday inside the newly decorated Marina Theatre.

Martin Halliday inside the newly decorated Marina Theatre.

Archant © 2012

A YEAR of success is being celebrated at Lowestoft's Marina Theatre as it marks 12 months under the stewardship of a trust set up to safeguard its future.

The Marina Theatre Trust was set up a year ago this week to take over the running of the venue from Waveney District Council.

Since then, the Edwardian theatre has been transformed – with the completion of a £250,000 refurbishment and construction of a £100,000 extension to improve facilities for its customers.

As the trust and its board prepare to celebrate its birthday tomorrow with a special party for invited guests, the Marina’s management team are pledging to attract even more top quality acts to Lowestoft.

It comes as the Marina unveils a star-studded line-up for 2013 – building on the success of a string of shows which have attracted big audiences and glowing reviews over the past 12 months.

Martin Halliday, the trust’s chief executive, said: “It has been a momentous year... After several years of uncertainty we are now able to plan far enough ahead to bring even bigger shows and events to Lowestoft.

“We have a tremendous board with a great mix of people from within the industry, complemented by local businessmen and people from the local community.”

The trust was formed after shows were axed and fears were voiced about the Marina’s future as a full-time theatre. This led to the council transferring its operation to the trust’s board on December 1 last year.

Waveney is set to provide £650,000 of funding to the Marina by 2016 but the transfer is estimated to have saved it up to £400,000 over the same period.

Stephen Ardley, the council’s cabinet member for partnerships, said: “We have a brilliant working relationship with the theatre management. The people of Lowestoft are enjoying a fabulous facility, delivering real value for money.”

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