A campaign to raise £63,000 to pay for vital upgrades has been launched by Royal & Derngate theatre in Northampton.
Arts Council England has awarded the venue a one-off grant of £423,514 to go towards the modernisation of the technology below the Derngate stage and auditorium but it is still short of the total the theatre needs.
Now a fund-raising appeal has been started and the theatre needs to raise the money by the end of this month.
A spokeswoman for theatre said the auditorium was cutting edge when it was built 31 years ago with its revolutionary design that allowed it to transform into different seating and non-seating arrangements.
“Having supported the weight of in excess of six million customers during its life span, the once revolutionary system now needs to be retired,” she said.
“Arts Council England have pledged to provide 85 percent of the total cost of replacing the mechanisms below the stage and auditorium this summer. The theatre has also been awarded a further £12,000 from Trusts and Foundations and is awaiting news from other grant-making bodies.
In the next few weeks we anticipate welcoming at 15,000 audience members. If every one of those attending donated just £5 we would achieve our fundraising targetMartin Sutherland, chief executive Royal & Derngate
“In order to secure the Arts Council grant Royal & Derngate needs to have the remaining 15 percent of the funding in place by the end of March 2015, so an appeal has been launched with the aim of raising a further £63,000 by this deadline.
“Everyone who is able to support this appeal will be acknowledged on a new donor’s wall which will be installed in the foyer once the project is completed,” she said.
Martin Sutherland, chief executive, Royal & Derngate, added: “In the next few weeks we anticipate welcoming at least 15,000 audience members to enjoy performances in the Derngate. If every one of those attending donated just £5 to this appeal we would be able to achieve our fundraising target and accept the vital grant, worth nearly half a million pounds, from Arts Council England.”
People can donate by texting DERN15 £5 to 70070. Alternatively online donations can be made by visiting www.justgiving.com/royalandderngate. Customers booking tickets on the phone or in person can also make donations at the same time
For more information go to www.royalandderngate.co.uk.