Future 'a little brighter' for theatre with funding grant to boost Covid recovery

The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes

The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft is one of the recipients of the grants. - Credit: Mick Howes

Management at a coastal theatre are celebrating after receiving almost £150,000 to help it recover and reopen amid the continuing coronavirus crisis.

The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft is set to receive £148,961 from the second round of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

The venue is among a number of arts and heritage groups across Norfolk and Waveney which will receive a share of £4m in funding.

A theatre spokesman said: "This award will allow us to support our staff, to launch a new community and participation programme and to deliver a programme of cinema and live performance with reduced audience capacity."


Lowestoft town centre during lockdown, with the Marina Theatre survival appeal poster.

Lowestoft town centre during lockdown, with the Marina Theatre survival appeal poster. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

With the pandemic also putting a halt to the Marina’s outreach programme in March last year - which previously saw groups of all ages meeting to participate and learn creative skills - the award will allow the theatre to relaunch its offer to the community.

The second round of awards announced last Friday will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery.


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Emma Butler Smith, Marina chief executive, said: “We are overjoyed by the news that our application to the second round of the Culture Recovery Fund has been successful.

"This is what we desperately need.

Emma Butler-Smith, chief executive of the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft.

Emma Butler-Smith, chief executive of the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. - Credit: Archant

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"No-one could have predicted just over a year ago that we would still be in this position, but we are bolstered by this news to forge ahead with our plans for the coming months.

"Our main goal is preserving the Marina - a theatre that has stood as part of Lowestoft’s landscape for over a century – and, most importantly, serving the community that loves it.

"We’re proud that the Arts Council thinks we are worth saving and this support from the CRF means the future is looking a little brighter for us and for the people of Lowestoft.

“Looking ahead to the Government’s roadmap journey, our café (outdoors) and box office are getting ready to reopen once more on Wednesday, April 14 and we plan to welcome people back into the theatre for a programme of films and screenings from Thursday, May 20.

"In the last year we’ve closed three times and re-opened twice.

"We know we can do it, and do it safely.

"We also know that our loyal customers are standing-by to return.”


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