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Shropshire school’s £1m theatre plans given green light

An artists impression of the new Moreton Hall theatre. Image: Tim Ronalds Architects An artist's impression of the new Moreton Hall theatre. Image: Tim Ronalds Architects
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Planning permission has been granted for a £1.45 million theatre at a school in Shropshire, which will host professional performances as well as be used for education.

Building work on the theatre at Moreton Hall girls’ school near Oswestry is expected to start in April.

The 290-seat venue, which is to be named the Holroyd Community Theatre, will be used for touring and local professional theatre companies as well as student and community productions.

It will also be used by local primary and secondary state schools, which will have access to the theatre as well as teaching, performances and workshops from the Moreton Hall drama department.

Designed by Tim Ronalds Architects, the organisation behind London’s Hackney Empire, the school says the theatre will “provide new opportunities for people in the area to access the arts, offering surrounding communities an exciting professional programme in drama, dance, music, literary events and cinema”.

£1.1 million has already been raised towards the project, with an initial pledge of £500,000 from benefactors Bill and Julie Holroyd, donations from the public and grants from supporters including the Garfield Weston Foundation.

The school is continuing to raise money from the public through its Sponsor a Seat, Sponsor a Spotlight and Founding Patron schemes.

Morton Hall will be recruiting an “experienced theatre manager” to put together a programme in time for the venue’s opening in summer 2019.

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