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Memorial Theatre needs your help!

FROME Memorial Theatre has launched a £60,000 fund-raising campaign to update the theatre’s stage lighting.

Theatre Trustees are appealing for help from the local community after having to finance a new heating system and a new fire alarm system in recent years.

Humphrey Barnes, chairman of Memorial Theatre Trust said, “We need to renew the stage lighting and replace the dimmer racks. The dimmer racks control all our stage lighting and this is a very serious situation  that the trustees have once again had to address – without the dimmer racks, we cannot operate.

“Work has already started and the cost will be £60,000, so once again the trustees are appealing to your readers for their financial support. We have been able to finance the initial cost ourselves and during the recent run of Frome Musical Theatre Company’s “Jack and the Beanstalk” a staggering £3,000 was raised from a generous audience exit collection.

“Just over two years ago the trustees of the Frome Memorial Theatre were faced with a major problem; the heating system in the theatre and the adjoining Assembly Rooms had failed and the cost to replace the ageing system was going to be in the region of £40,000.

“The theatre trustees had no alternative but to launch an appeal, the trustees were able to contribute a substantial sum towards the cost, and did organise a number of successful fund raising events, but a large amount of the cost was raised as always from the generous people of Frome and district, and in no time at all, we were in a financial position to replace our heating system.

“On top of our heating problem we were also advised by the authorities to install a new fire alarm system. We took their advice of course and a new fire alarm system was installed, this was an additional cost of £18,000.

“Well here we are again two years on and we have another major concern at our theatre.

“We receive little or no financial help from our town or district councils and for the past 34 years my colleagues and I have relied solely on volunteers to run the complex. Anyone wishing to donate to our appeal whether you are in business, a local organisation or one of our many thousands of supporters of our totally voluntary-run theatre, please contact me on 01373 463427 or email gandhbarnes@btinternet.com.

“We have already received a £500 donation from the recently-opened Co-Operative store in Nunney Road where manager, Josh King, heard of our plight and wished to help, and we are extremely grateful to him and his company.”

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