WORK to rescue a Portsmouth theatre for the community to enjoy for years to come is able to carry on thanks to new investment.
Builders are on site at the New Theatre Royal in Guildhall Walk to rebuild the historic playhouse after a six-figure sum was invested by the Parity Trust – a not-for-profit social funding organisation based in North Harbour.
The theatre’s Grade II listed showhouse was destroyed by a fire in 1972, and is only now being rebuilt as part of the overarching refurbishment work.
The works mean the theatre can continue to produce great performances for education and entertainment, provide a creative learning space where the focus will be on educational workshops, and rescue an important heritage building in Portsmouth.
The Parity Trust raises money and then invests it in community projects and projects such as social housing.
Josh Brown, chairman of the New Theatre Royal, said: ‘The support and encouragement of Parity Trust means that we are able to make a dynamic impact on the environment and economy of the city and enhance the lives and opportunities of its communities.’
As reported in The News, the Parity Trust has launched a Community Share Scheme in order to attract investment from local people. The money will then be invested in worthwhile causes, such as projects like the rebuilding of the New Theatre Royal, and the investors will see a return on their original stake.
The organisation’s chief executive, Simon Frost, said: ‘We are delighted that we are able to assist the New Theatre Royal help realise its ambition to become a theatre that is about both entertaining and educating, having modern facilities whilst still retaining its proud heritage and character.
‘Parity Trust has now invested more than £500,000 in local charities, evidence of our commitment to supporting projects that improve the lives and opportunities for local people.’
To find out about investing, see paritytrust.org.uk.