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Refurbishment of King's Lynn theatre group's building nears completion

A Lynn theatre group are almost ready to lift the curtain on their newly-refurbished premises after the pandemic has caused multiple delays to building work over the last year.

King's Lynn Operatic and Dramatic Society (KLODS) applied for a grant from FCC Communities Foundation last year to fund the refurbishment of their building.

When the pandemic hit, lockdown caused work to slow and even stop for a while. But within six months, the KLODS building is almost ready, with just a few small aesthetic additions left to complete.

KLODS headquarters at St George's Courtyard (45003586)
KLODS headquarters at St George's Courtyard (45003586)

David Nash, current chair of KLODS and a member of the Society since 1997, said “With the level of financial help that FCC Communities Foundation has offered, we have managed to take an old, cold, tired and damp building and bring this up to date to be fit for purpose again. This has given KLODS a life line and the ability to use our premises to its full potential again.”

Further support for the project had come from donations from patrons and former members, which has helped to pay for additional items for the project.

David added: "This is not only a major benefit for KLODS but also the other members of the local arts and entertainment fraternity who may be wishing to rent the building for rehearsals or as a creative space.

"This, as well as any long term day time rentals, will help to fund the running of the building and support KLODS in its aim to bring the arts to the local community.”

The refurbishment has involved many committee members, with KLODS resident director and vice-chair Hayley Dennis at the helm, supported by Paul Howe.

As theatre companies across West Norfolk make preparations to reopen following multiple lockdowns over the last year, KLODS prepares to celebrate 120 years in 2021.

David said: "This gift of financial support is even more important now as we slowly come out of lockdown. Many people will return to theatres or start going now for many reasons. They may be part of an audience, as performers, stage crew, wardrobe or support staff gaining the many benefits associated with the known well-being and socialisation the industry offers.

"But most importantly we are looking forward to welcoming new people into the society as well as existing friends, helping us and others in the myriad of roles that music and the dramatic Arts has for all talents.

"As and when the lock down allows, we look forward to a formal re-opening of our beloved building and being at the heart of the community again thanks to FCC and our loyal patrons, friends and members."

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