A Workington theatre and arts centre brought to its knees due to COVID-19 is fighting back thanks to a grant to help develop it and create an ‘exciting future’.
Carnegie Theatre Trust has been awarded £61,435 by Sellafield Ltd’s Social Impact Fund. The funding will allow the charity to carry out a project to look at how the theatre and arts centre can become an integral part of the community post-coronavirus.
The charity took over the Finkle Street venue from Allerdale council in 2015. Since March 2020 the Carnegie Theatre has been unable to open due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Lee Martin-White, chairman of the Carnegie Theatre Trust, said: “We are delighted that Sellafield Ltd has given us this opportunity to understand what we need to do to protect the Carnegie Theatre & Arts Centre by taking the best of what it offers now and understanding what it needs to offer in the future. This is the start of a long-term project that will hopefully see a very exciting future for the Carnegie.”
The funding will be used alongside funding received from Arts Council England and Architectural Heritage Fund Cultural Recovery to engage with local people to understand what the Carnegie Theatre & Arts Centre should be by understanding its audiences to develop a long-term strategy and plan which will ultimately see the Grade II building protected and new uses of under-used spaces identified.
Lee added: “We are working with several national consultants to support us with this work who have a wealth of knowledge in redefining heritage, arts and culture organisations like ours, with a track record of successful projects which have attracted significant accolades.
“We are extremely grateful to Sellafield Ltd for recognising the merit of our application and the value of the Carnegie to the communities across West Cumbria.”
The charity, applied to Sellafield Ltd’s Social Impact Fund earlier this year.
The fund is set up to support projects which are helping to address social and economic needs in Copeland and Allerdale which includes feasibility studies to perform research to ensure a project is viable before seeking further funding.