Lowestoft’s Marina Theatre marks year of success

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.

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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.'

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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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