Grants in store for theatre company, RBL and bowls club

Dereham Theatre Company performed a stage version of TV comedy Blackadder Goes Forth at Dereham Memo

Dereham Theatre Company performed a stage version of TV's 'Blackadder Goes Forth' in 2014. - Credit: Chris Hill

An amateur dramatics society, the UK’s largest armed forces charity and a local bowls club are all set to receive grants from a Norfolk town council, as community groups try to bounce back from a lockdown slumber.

At a Tuesday meeting of Dereham Town Council’s finance committee, members recommended the approval of grant applications from the Dereham Theatre Company, the local branch of Royal British Legion (RBL), and the St Nicholas Bowls Club.

In their application for £500, the theatre company wrote that it was “excited to return to the stage at Dereham Memorial Hall for its first production since the pandemic, which will be our award-winning Christmas pantomime.”

With the town council’s help, the company said it could afford “pyrotechnics and special effects that make our productions stand out from the rest and even rival Norwich Theatre Royal’s professional production.” 

The company, whose pantomimes typically cost £15,000-20,000 in total, added that it “would love to be able to provide a much-needed tonic to the last year.”

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Another group applying for the maximum amount of £500 were the RBL’s Dereham branch, who said they wished “to put on a show at the Memorial Hall” on September 4, to celebrate the charity’s 100th anniversary.

Hugh King, county public relations officer for Norfolk, speaks at the service for the Royal British

Hugh King, county public relations officer for Norfolk, speaks at the service for the Royal British Legion remembrance torch at Halsey House in Cromer as the torch tours Norfolk, one of the events to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

Deputy mayor Hugh King, who also serves as the RBL’s county chairman, said each town and parish was organising an event.

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“Dereham [branch] are struggling at the moment, I can tell you that - not just because of Covid, but there’s been a lot of the legion’s beneficiaries [that] have applied for welfare grants, and there’s only a limited amount that the legion in Dereham can pay out to be honest, in white goods, and other things,” said Mr King.

“I think it would be very much appreciated by the Dereham branch… It doesn’t seem a lot but £500 goes quite a long way,” he added. 

Dereham St. Nicholas EBA Bowls Club. Picture: Danielle Booden

Dereham St. Nicholas EBA Bowls Club. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Finally, the St Nicholas Bowls Club applied for a grant of £365, in order to cover a third of the cost of “installing a CCTV system following break-ins”. 

The club suffered vandalism as recently as February, in which an intruder hopped the fence into the club’s grounds and threw paint onto the bowling green.  

All three bids were recommended for approval, and will be formally passed by the town’s full council. 

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