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Friday, 22 May 2015

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Cash boost for £2m revamp of Cockermouth arts centre

Cockermouth’s Kirkgate Centre has been given a major boost in its plan for a £2 million revamp.

The venue found out this week that it had been successful in the first stage of securing £850,000 from the Arts Council so staff can work on a final submission.

Kate Parry, the Kirkgate’s general manager, said: “We are extremely delighted that the Arts Council has supported our plans.

“It is a major vote of confidence in our vision for the centre and we hope it will unlock funding support from other sources.”

The centre, which opened in 1995, won planning permission last year for an extension to include a cafe/bar, new box office, community meeting room, offices, improved stage access and dressing rooms and up-to-date technology for the auditorium.

The Friends of the Kirkgate group has been set up locally to raise £200,000 towards the redevelopment.

Kirkgate Arts, which runs the centre, has also been awarded £120,000 over three years from 2015 to continue its successful Arts Out West touring scheme, which takes professional shows to village and community halls in West Cumbria.

Caroline Aston, artistic manager of Arts Out West, said: “We are pleased that our local communities will continue to benefit from having professional shows right on their doorsteps.”

The Arts Council also confirmed that it will fund Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake until at least 2018, with £604,067 a year.

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