Theatre closer to curtain up

The $1.8 million revamp of The Globe Theatre is one step closer, thanks to a $289,000 grant from the Central Energy Trust.

The grant comes in two chunks - $209,000 for the build and $80,000 for the fitout.

The Palmerston North City Council will take care of the build, while the Globe Theatre Trust board is in charge of the fitout.

Board chairman Stephen Fisher said the new grant was great news, especially with construction set to start in March.

"This has been six years worth of work getting it to this stage.

"We're looking forward to a successful completion of the project next year."

Almost all of the money raised so far had come from grants, Mr Fisher said.

"We haven't done much in the way of fundraising, to be honest.

"We've focused on the community trusts, and now - to make up the shortfall - we'll approach the community."

Construction would take about six months, and Mr Fisher said plans were already in place for those who could be put out by the closure.

"It's our quietest time of the year, which is why we asked council if they could try to build at that sort of time.

"We've given users plenty of warning that it's going to happen."

Other venues around Palmerston North would likely pick up some more acts, but Mr Fisher said he was confident they would head back to the new Globe.

"The users have not really got anywhere to go that suits quite as well."

Plans were slowly coming together for a month-long opening festival, which would include a wide variety of acts. "We also have a few national events which we are planning for."

Mayor Jono Naylor said the grants made the project closer to getting over the line.

"A number of applications to other trusts have also been made, and I'm confident that we will raise all the funds necessary for the council's commitment to building."

The new theatre will have a second auditorium with seating for 100 people, a cafe/bar and a new entrance atrium.

Manawatu Standard