The Big Give scheme will double donations to New Theatre Royal’s fundraising campaign over next three days

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THE public is being asked to get behind a theatre’s fundraising campaign to help take advantage of a scheme which will double any donations made over the next three days.

The New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth is aiming to raise £32,360 to form New Motion, a new dance and drama company for the over-55s.

It will be based in the theatre’s new creative learning studio, named after the late film director Anthony Minghella.

And the Guildhall Walk theatre has been chosen to take part in the UK’s biggest online matched fundraising campaign, The Big Give, which doubles donations from midday today until noon on Friday.

Development director for the theatre Fiona Wilson said: ‘There is a lack of creative opportunities for those aged over 55 in the local area.

‘We know participation in the arts contributes to mental and physical well-being but funding for this area is limited. New Motion will prioritise regular contemporary dance and drama classes, workshops and performance opportunities for this vibrant age group.’

If successful, the money will be used to create a programme specifically designed for mature artists that includes free taster sessions, weekly workshops and professional drama and dance practitioners.

The campaign has received a generous boost from NTR’s official partner, Snows Motor Group, which kick-started the campaign with an £8,000 pledge which has been matched by the Postcode Support Trust.

Snows Motor Group in Portsmouth became an official corporate partner of the theatre in October last year.

Group managing director at Snows Mark Trapani said: ‘Working with New Theatre Royal has presented so many opportunities for Snows Group and we love being involved with such a forward thinking and creative institution.

‘From the beginning of our relationship, when we sponsored the three raucous events including the longest guitar ensemble with Chesney Hawkes to the 80-hour non-stop comedy show and the spectacular Mini Clubman launch party, the theatre has been fantastic at making our visions come to life and we’re looking forward to a long future with them.’

The theatre re-opened in October 2015 after undergoing a £4.5m refurbishment.

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