Revamp of Potters Bar theatre stage costs tens of thousands

Appearing until Sunday October 27 on the refurbished stage at the Wyllyotts Theatre is Chitty Chitt

Appearing until Sunday October 27 on the refurbished stage at the Wyllyotts Theatre is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Picture: HBC. - Credit: Archant

A new sliding stage was unveiled at a Potters Bar theatre on Monday (Oct 21).

An £18,000 grant was provided for the front arch and dance stage floor at Wyllyotts Theatre, and a further £30,000 used to create a multi-purpose function room.

Head of planning and economic development at Hertsmere Borough Council, Adrien Waite, presented a plaque recognising that the project had been completed in partnership with the council.

"The Wyllyotts Theatre is at the heart of the local community, and attracts a huge range of performers from ballet and opera to wrestling and comedy," Mr Waite said.

"The stage is a really impressive piece of kit, which enables users of the theatre much more flexibility and freedom in their performances.

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"It will benefit all the community groups, local amateur dramatic societies, dance schools and children's drama groups, who currently use the venue, as well as professional companies who perform here.

"It will also help the Wyllyotts Theatre attract more bookings, increasing their revenue, which in turn will lead to more investment in future shows and programmes."

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In addition, the multi-purpose room has been created with sliding partition doors, which means it can be used as a separate room or become part of the existing foyer.

Formerly an under-used office, the room will be available for community use during the day, with activities for older people or children, and in the evenings can be opened up to enable more pre-show catering and drinks provision.

Theatre manager Ginny Williams said: "The building is so busy and so loved by the community, any improvements are very welcome and both of these projects make a huge difference to what we can offer here."

A total of £800,000 will be pumped into Hertsmere community projects, which the council funds through a development levy that can be used for improving local facilities and services.

£50,000 has already gone to a pitch at a Potters Bar school, and a further £29,467 was awarded to Noah's Ark Children's Hospice in High Barnet.

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