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Theatre House future secured following sale

Malvern Editorial 4th Feb, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

THE FUTURE of a theatre house has been secured after the district council agreed to sell it to the amateur players who have been occupying it for more than 30 years.

The council’s executive board gave the green light to the move last week under the agreement that Theatre House on Grange Road is continually used for performing arts.

Malvern Theatre Players, in 1977, took over the Victorian building while it served as stables and a carriage house to The Grange next door.

Over the years it has been used as a scenery workshop and store and survived condemnation to be demolished in 1984.

The MTP have invested heavily in their home with help from national organisations and the district council and in 2006 the stables were converted into what is now know as the The Coach House Theatre.

Last year the council gave planning permission for the group to build an extension which will see the theatre capacity increase from 70 people to 85.

The move will make it a lot more viable for the MTP – who are volunteers – to hold future shows and provide more flexible staging as well as a larger backstage area.

Chris Bassett, manager of Malvern Theatre Players, said the council’s decision to sell the Theatre House to the group would allow them to access funding grants in order to pay for the proposed extension work.

“The Malvern Theatre Players are delighted to have the opportunity to buy Theatre House.

“When we first occupied the building it was in a very dilapidated state with leaking roofs, earth floors and no services.

“Substantial investment by us and national and local funding bodies has resulted in a useful and highly regarded studio theatre.

“It is our aim to continue to provide and operate an industry standard venue at an affordable cost to a wide range of performing arts practitioners, both amateur and professional while preserving and conserving one of the oldest buildings in central Malvern.”

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