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Capital award supports refurbishment of Roses Theatre in partnership project with Tewkesbury Borough Council

  • Date: 20 August 2014
  • Area: South West
Exterior of The Roses Theatre

Credit: Jack Boskett

The Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury has been awarded £250,000 from our National Lottery funded Capital scheme to refurbish and enhance their 40 year old building and make it fully accessible.

The building refurbishment project in partnership with Tewkesbury Borough Council will address major access issues within the building, add new facilities and improve the organisation's sustainability in the long term.  Urgent improvements needed to the theatre include replacing the roof and installing a customer lift, while technical upgrades include installing a lighting grid in the fly tower, which will significantly enhance the artistic offer.

A kitchen will be installed on the first floor meaning customers will be able to enjoy food service for the first time and adding a new revenue stream for the organisation.

The Roses, a National portfolio organisation, will concentrate on developing refurbishment plans over the summer with the launch of a major fundraising appeal planned for the autumn.  Full details of the theatre's programming and capital plans will be announced following further discussions with Arts Council England and other partners. 

News of the capital award came on the same day as the announcement that The Roses will be one of the 83 organisations in the south west in the National portfolio for 2015/18.

Deborah Rees, Director of The Roses, said: 'We are absolutely delighted with these major funding awards, which are a real vote of confidence in the quality of the programme here at The Roses and our ambitious plans. The success of The Roses is due to the hard work from all the team here - our staff, our board and our volunteers. We are delighted to bring this investment into Tewkesbury and look forward to realising our future plans.' 

Although the records show that there was a theatre in Tewkesbury as far back as 1823, the current Roses Theatre was opened in 1975 on the site of a much-loved Art Deco cinema The Sabrina, which had closed ten years earlier.  Financial difficulties beset the independently-run theatre, which twice had to close its doors but in 1995 The Roses Theatre Trust was formed and the theatre became a registered charity, with strong support from the Borough Council and the people of Tewkesbury themselves.

Today the Roses attracts an audience of 80,000 people each year for its varied programme of live events, film and workshops and is noted for its outstanding community and outreach work.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: 'We're delighted to support the enhancement of the Roses Theatre through this award from our National Lottery-funded Capital programme.  The Roses is an important regional theatre doing great work within its local community and we look forward to seeing the venue flourish with the help of our investment.'

Find out more about our Capital programme for 2015/18 at