New era for Lowestoft’s Marina Theatre

THE champagne corks were popping in Lowestoft today (Wednesday) as managers and supporters of the town's biggest theatre celebrated a new era.

Last night, Waveney District Council's cabinet met to rubber-stamp a bid from the Marina Theatre's management and the Friends of the Marina to take over the running of the Edwardian venue in a 15-year deal.

As part of its savings drive, the council voted to hand over the management of the building to a charitable not-for-profit organisation.

The council will still own the building and will continue to subsidise it with �150,000-a-year for the first four years of the operation - but the new charitable trust will now take on the day-to-day running of the venue as they aim to source funding from other areas.

Peter Wilson, chairman of the Friends, said: 'We've got an awful lot of work in front of us, but with the enthusiasm that's been shown, it's got to work.'

On announcing that the decision had been approved, Waveney District Councillor Stephen Ardley, portfolio holder for healthy communities, said he was 'really, really pleased.'

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