Groundlings Theatre has secured thousands in funding from the Community Ownership Fund

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Groundlings Theatre has managed to secure £156,000 to protect the future of the Grade II listed building.

The theatre trust has announced the success of securing thousands of pounds of funding with the support from Portsmouth South’s MP Stephen Morgan with its ‘Save the Old Benny’ bid to the Community Ownership Fund.

The £150m Community Ownership Fund aims to ensure that local people across the UK can support and continue benefiting from treasured local institutions whose future may be in doubt.

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Stephen Morgan MP, said: ‘By securing this funding this should help enable volunteers to purchase the building, and ensure this valuable piece of Portsmouth history is not only saved, but restored to its former glory as a thriving community hub of theatre, education and engagement for the people of Portsmouth.

Groundlings Theatre, Kent St, Portsea
Picture: Chris MoorhouseGroundlings Theatre, Kent St, Portsea
Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Groundlings Theatre, Kent St, Portsea Picture: Chris Moorhouse

‘Groundlings Theatre is in a special part of Portsmouth and is a building with a special place in our city’s history, which is why I wanted to play my part in securing this much-needed funding for the theatre.

‘This funding is a step in the right direction. I look forward to supporting the team as the plans develop.’

The Groundlings Theatre Trust provides opportunities including creating in-house theatre productions that allow beginners to work alongside professions in all theatre operations, bursaries for young people, and various volunteering programmes.

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Whether it is the cafe down the street that may be closing or a local shop that is losing their property, the fund offers an opportunity for local groups to take them over and to run them as businesses.