Rasen hall’s £5k upgrade in bid to attract shows

The U3A Singers performing at the recent hall open day event EMN-160425-162857001
The U3A Singers performing at the recent hall open day event EMN-160425-162857001
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Market Rasen’s Festival Hall is to get a £5,000 upgrade in a bid to attract more performers to the stage.

Work is being done to the stage, electrics and lighting to make it ‘fit for purpose’ after being out of use for nearly two years.

There was plenty of flag waving at the sing-a-long led by the U3A Singing GroupEMN-160425-162857001

There was plenty of flag waving at the sing-a-long led by the U3A Singing GroupEMN-160425-162857001

It is part of a plan to prove the hall is essential to the town - as the council prepares to bid for £400,000 to fund extensive, and essential, building work.

Business associate Nicola Marshall, who has been appointed by the town council to lead the project, said: “We’ve got to this stage, we need to show there’s a need for it and test it out a bit.

“It’s no good sitting there getting dusty.

“It’s for the people of the town, and it’s there to use.

“We’re quite excited.”

The work will be completed in the next couple of months, and once it is finished it will be suitable for productions by touring companies.

Ms Marshall said: “We are investing in new lights and carrying out electrical work to make the stage set up compatible with modern day standards - we will be able to welcome touring companies to the venue.

“At the moment we have out of date equipment and it is all running out of one 13 amp socket, which is rather unsatisfactory.”

And Ms Marshall added: “We have been fortunate in having the professional expertise of Bill Bartlett, the lighting technician at the Broadbent Theatre, in advising us.”

The work will be funded by Market Rasen Town Council, after a recommendation from Ms Marshall.

She said: “We’ve got a big venue and a big stage.

“It’s the only venue in town that’s got a stage and nothing’s been done to it since the year dot.

“The town council have taken a decision on my recommendation.

“People want public events. Clearly something needed to be done.”

Ms Marshall said she will soon start ‘pushing’ Festival Hall as a venue for productions - and already has a county-based promoter interested in putting on acoustic nights.

And once the work is done, Ms Marshall is keen to start up an amateur dramatics group for young people, as well as adults.

She said: “The town should have its own group. That’s part of the lifeblood of it.

“Most towns have them.”

Last year Ms Marshall did a Festival Hall ‘feasibility study’ for the town council. This said: “Structural surveys show that major renovation work and a comprehensive modernization programme are required; failing this, the building will continue to deteriorate and incur costly repairs and maintenance.”

The hall, built in 1972, needs a new weather-proof roof, which is estimated to cost £100,000 
alone.

Anyone interested in an amateur dramatics group should call Nicola Marshall on 01673 308010.