Work under way at theatre venue after 'Relight My Fire' campaign success
- Credit: Lowestoft Players
Work is under way to install a new heating and ventilation system at the home of a popular amateur dramatics society.
After the Lowestoft Players launched a Crowdfunder campaign to replace a condemned heating system at The Players Theatre in November last year, they reached their initial £35,000 target days before it was due to end in January.
With the theatre left without any heating, there was a strong possibility that they would not be able to reopen after lockdown.
But work to remove the group's 30-year-old boiler with a new heating system is now under way, thanks to the generosity of people across Lowestoft and beyond who supported the Relight My Fire appeal.
Jenny Wright, chairman of the Lowestoft Players, said: “We set ourselves a target to raise £35,000 to cover the cost of the new system.
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“Through the Crowdfunder we actually raised an amazing £36,445 plus Gift Aid.
"This has allowed us to upgrade to a building management system meaning that heating and ventilation can be controlled remotely through Wi-Fi.
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"This will ensure that the system is run at the optimum temperature according to the weather conditions, thus providing ongoing savings.”
The contract to install the system has been awarded to Beeline Refrigeration Limited, Lowestoft and will include four heating/cooling units in the main auditorium, one unit back stage and three units in the theatre’s rehearsal studios.
With excavation of footpaths around the Players Theatre taking place over the last few weeks to allow UK Power Networks to install cabling for a new power supply to the building, the money raised has covered the cost of this work, plus an external concrete plinth that will run alongside the building to house the outside air source units.
It is hoped that installation of the new system will be completed at the end of the month.
A number of East Suffolk councillors have also pledged money from their Enabling Communities Budget to allow insulation and draft proofing works to be carried out to the building.
Mrs Wright added: “As soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted volunteer members from the Lowestoft Players will carry out their annual spring clean of the building, plus some internal decorating before we reopen to the public, hopefully in late June."
The Lowestoft Players are currently working on their post-lockdown programme of events for 2021/22.