Theatre hoping for cash bonanza

LOWESTOFT'S Seagull Theatre is hoping a new government cash scheme can provide a boost and help it get established following a community campaign which saw its open its doors again last year.

LOWESTOFT'S Seagull Theatre is hoping a new government cash scheme can provide a boost and help it get established following a community campaign which saw its open its doors again last year.

The theatre is hoping to land a slice of government regeneration cash in a bid to secure its long-term future.

The Seagull was saved from the axe last year after a major fund-raising campaign and now backers are looking to launch a bid for funding from the government's £45m scheme to regenerate seaside resorts.

The Sea Change programme, originally announced in November, will run for three years from 2008 to 2011, giving £15m each year to coastal resorts.


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It aims to kick-start wider economic regeneration through specific investment in culture and heritage, such as improving historic public spaces and enhancing galleries, concert halls and theatres.

Waveney MP Bob Blizzard, who backed the Save Our Seagull (SOS) campaign, said: “The Seagull s exactly the kind of thing that this funding is aimed at. More funding would enable a wider range of cultural and artistic activity to be put on at the Seagull, providing valuable entertainment for local people and attracting more visitors to our town to boost the local economy.”

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The SOS campaign for the Pakefield-based theatre was launched in 2006 after Suffolk County Council said it could no longer pay £60,000 a year to keep the venue open.

Mr Blizzard added: “I very much hope that the Seagull Theatre will access funds, having been rescued from Suffolk County Council's axe. While we should celebrate our fund-raising achievements so far through the Save Our Seagull campaign, we mustn't let up in our determination to see the theatre thrive for years to come.”

Hazel Johnson,from Enterprise Lowestoft, which is helping to save the theatre, said: “This could be a tremendous opportunity for the Seagull to receive significant help to ensure it continues to be brought back to life as a valuable venue for performing arts and heritage event.”

For more information about the SOS campaign, contact Enterprise Lowestoft on 01502 580909.

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