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Princess Theatre's most excellent canopy is raising its rafters




A few acts have raised the roof in its time but now help with fixing it is is being welcomed by Hunstanton's Princess Theatre.

Improvements have been a long time coming for the seaside venue and £250,000 of investment from West Norfolk Council should make a major difference.

Structural repair to the theatre's roof has been needed for years and it will become a reality when contractors start work next spring.

Major roof funding for The Princess Theatre at Hunstanton...LtoR, Brian Hallard, proprietor Princess Theatre, Stuart Dark (Borough Council Leader), Borough Cllr Carol Bower. MLNF-21PM10064
Major roof funding for The Princess Theatre at Hunstanton...LtoR, Brian Hallard, proprietor Princess Theatre, Stuart Dark (Borough Council Leader), Borough Cllr Carol Bower. MLNF-21PM10064

The roof is deteriorating and has tile failure and periodic leaks and the building, which is owned by the borough, has been inspected and found that in order to avoid more costly structural repairs the roof must be replaced.

Discussion commenced between town councillor Carol Bower, Brian Hallard, proprietor of the theatre and Stuart Dark, leader of the borough, about the condition of the building and this solution will be of great relief for the theatre's future.

Meeting at the Princess Theatre to solidify their collaboration will prove vital for a greater vision and longevity of the entertainment premises that is a much loved part of Sunny Hunny.

Major roof funding for The Princess Theatre at Hunstanton..LtoR, Stuart Dark (Borough Council Leader with Brian Hallard, proprietor, Princess Theatre). MLNF-21PM10067
Major roof funding for The Princess Theatre at Hunstanton..LtoR, Stuart Dark (Borough Council Leader with Brian Hallard, proprietor, Princess Theatre). MLNF-21PM10067

Mrs Bower said "I am delighted that the borough council is investing in our much loved theatre. It provides a huge variety of year round entertainment for our residents and visitors and greatly benefits Hunstanton’s economy."

Mr Hallard said: "The investment means it ensures the theatre will be here for years to come and grow from strength to strength.

"We have shows across the spectrum, from ballet to pantomime, school performances that all serve the local community.

Hunstanton Princess Theatre MLNF-20MF08071
Hunstanton Princess Theatre MLNF-20MF08071

"The shows are getting more popular, Covid knocked us back a bit but the confidence is back.

"We get visitors in the winter who travel from Wisbech and Leicester to see the shows and we have some big shows coming in the next few months.

"The work will start in the spring alongside the shows that will continue. We haven't a clue how long it will take but this has been an uphill battle for the last eight years but thanks to our Leader we have a conclusion."

Jess Smith, technical manager on the Princess Theatre roof. (51992482)
Jess Smith, technical manager on the Princess Theatre roof. (51992482)

The heath and safety of the theatre's patrons are paramount to Mr Hallard and his team.

Jess Smith, technical manager said: "Improvements to the roof will greatly enhance energy efficiency of the building. Helping to maintain a comfortable temperature for our patrons and removing the anxiety of rain water damaging equipment.

"It will be a huge relief to know the building will be sound for years to come."

Jess Smith, technical manager on the Princess Theatre roof. (51992517)
Jess Smith, technical manager on the Princess Theatre roof. (51992517)

Mr Dark said: "The borough council, through the cabinet team are really pleased to have decided to support the theatre with £250k. It means this much loved theatre will thrive providing shows for years to come.

"As a local resident myself, my daughter has trod the boards here, and my family have seen many good shows.

"Timing is key and these are big plans ahead after Covid has been so hard on the performing arts.

"We will play our part in helping the theatre come out of that period, to be responsive, move quickly and help people out to get involved and get our sleeves rolled up."

"It is important the theatre through Brian contacted us to discuss plans and difficulties. It is incumbent on us as a council to listen and respond as promptly as we can.

"In Hunstanton the theatre provides activity all year round and not just in the summer season. In the depths of winter local residents have somewhere to go.

"It is absolutely right for the council to invest in, for the theatre to be supported the building needs to be safe."



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