Magical March sees £250,000 target reached

Work taking place at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth
Work taking place at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth
Tributes left outside Fareham Academy.

Picture: Ian Hargreaves (180012-4)

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IT WAS a month to remember for a theatre company which received thousands of pounds worth of funding to reach its target for a revamp.

The New Theatre Royal, on Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, received a total of £250,000 in March which will go towards its redevelopment.

The funding, from a number of different groups, means the theatre’s construction can now be paid for. It now needs to raise money for only fixtures and fittings.

Campaign director Fiona Wilson said: ‘March was an amazing month for us with all the fundraisers we held and the grants we managed to secure.

‘The £250,000 means we have reached our target for the redevelopment of the theatre and the only things we have to pay for includes lighting, stereos, the Victorian-style boxes and a fire curtain.’

The New Theatre Royal has been fundraising for the past four years to pay for its massive redevelopment and Fiona is over the moon about reaching the target.

She added: ‘We have been working really hard with all the fundraising and it is amazing that we have reached the target.’

There were two high-profile fundraisers by the theatre last month with attempts to break two Guinness World Records.

On March 15, more than 400 people went to Fratton Park for the biggest group to air guitar for the longest period of time.

And the theatre also organised for 60 stand-up comedians to perform for 82 hours straight to break the world record for the longest stand-up gig.

The month was rounded off with four different trusts and foundations donating to the theatre.

Garfield Weston and The Monument Trust donated a grant of £100,000 each and the University of Portsmouth and Bernard Sunley Charitable Trust also gave generous amounts.

Fiona said: ‘We are really grateful that so many different trusts and foundations have wanted to invest in the theatre.

‘We went through the long process of applying and I was thrilled when they agreed.’