Delight as Tamworth Assembly Rooms project wins new £365,000 grant
Tamworth Borough Council is celebrating after being awarded a massive £365,000 grant from Arts Council England to support the redevelopment of Tamworth Assembly Rooms.
While funding is already in place for the major building work, the Small Capital Grant award from the Arts Council will help ensure that the new-look theatre’s infrastructure and digital equipment is fitting for a modern, state-of-the-art public entertainment venue.
This includes ensuring the building is energy efficient and sustainable for the future, with reduced running costs and increased environmental performance.
Tamworth Borough Council was among 28 successful projects across the country awarded grants of between £100,000 and £500,000 in the latest round of funding from Arts Council England’s Small Capital Fund.
Through the donations, the Arts Council wants to support organisations to be more resilient by having the right buildings and equipment to deliver their work. This includes enabling them to become more ‘sustainable and innovative, including increasing their environmental performance and reducing carbon emissions’.
The historic Grade II listed Tamworth Assembly Rooms in Corporation Street is to undergo major refurbishment to bring it into the 21st century.
Work will include the creation of a café bar and exhibition space, a new box office, glazed double doors at the front of the theatre and a brand new glass extension on the side of the building which will be used as a studio space.
The theatre’s windows – which have been covered over for a number of years – will be opened up to allow natural light into the auditorium and to complement the new glass frontage to Corporation Street.
Regeneration of the theatre is part of the wider £6.1million project by Tamworth Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council to develop an Enterprise Quarter in the heart of Tamworth town centre.
As well as funding from the two local authorities, the project has already secured grants from the Single Local Growth Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The first phase of work, to create an Enterprise Centre for small businesses in the former Philip Dix building in Corporation Street, is now complete and will officially open for business this month.
Renovations at Tamworth Assembly Rooms are scheduled to start this year following the completion of extensive structural, archaeological and material surveys which were required before building work could take place at the 128-year-old building.
Cllr Steve Claymore, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Regeneration, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our bid for funding from Arts Council England. Competition for the Small Capital Fund is extremely fierce, so to have been successful is a real achievement.
“As well as reflecting a great bid being put together by our Arts & Events team, the award shows that the Arts Council values what we are trying to do with the Assembly Rooms in securing the future of the historic theatre as a venue for arts and entertainment that is fit for modern audiences.
“While funding is already in place for the major building work, this additional finance is the icing on the cake and will enable us to ensure the new state-of-the-art theatre is accompanied by outstanding infrastructure to serve our community now and in the future.”