Successful year gets Rasen’s Festival Hall on right road for funding bids

Festival Hall project leader Nicola Marshall EMN-170117-065121001
Festival Hall project leader Nicola Marshall EMN-170117-065121001
  • ‘We need to keep that momentum going’ says project leader

Wrestling, live music, theatre productions and tea dances - the past year has seen Market Rasen’s Festival Hall come alive once more.

The town council-run venue was underused and so business consultant Nicola Marshall was appointed to organise events and reinvigorate the hall.

And it has proved to be a successful 12 months, with regular users increasing and one-off events well-supported.

“It has been a very positive year, with the Festival Hall ending the year in an improved state, with increased bookings, new activities and a higher public profile, both in the town and beyond,” said Ms Marshall.

Now, the focus needs to change and look toward the funding needed to refurbish the building.

“We have achieved a lot of stuff over the last year,” said Ms Marshall.

“We have had some fantastic support from a small and dedicated group of people, who have given up their time to help put on events for the community and they have really made a difference.

“Now we need to keep that momentum going, but also to have a gear shift to look at the strategic side of applying for funding to secure the future of the hall.”

Ms Marshall will be continuing in her role to help drive the refurbishment project forward.

The past year has already seen improvements to the hall lighting, accessible toilet and stage, but more is needed to safeguard the building for the next few decades.

Ms Marshall said: “The very least that is needed is a new roof.

“We are also looking to upgrade the entrance and, of course, decorate.

“We are looking at somewhere in the region of £250,000 to £300,000 at the moment.

“We need to go for something like the Big Lottery Building Communities Fund, which is done in two stages, so it would take about a year to secure the funding.

“Everything we have done this past year is evidence towards this funding bid.

“We have also been working very closely with West Lindsey District Council and they are very supportive of what we are doing here.”

Meanwhile, the events continue in the hall with an exciting line-up in the months ahead.

“We have some fantastic live music events this year, with some international artists taking to the stage, and the wrestling is back too ” said Ms Marshall.

“There is a lot happening.”

Coming up at the Festival Hall

Americana

A highlight of the year will be a three-artist line-up on June 16. Jonathan Byrd will be headlining, with support from Kyshona Armstrong and Robert Lane.

Wrestling

Four dates are planned for this year - more details to follow.

More live music

BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Nominee 2014 Hattie Briggs and Saskia Griffiths Moore will be in concert on April 28.

French connection

Flossie Malavialle and Edwina Hayes will both be in concert on September 30.

BAck to ballroom

The Festival Hall has teamed up with CLIP Market Rasen to offer a ballroom dancing course.

This is the perfect preparation to take part in the tea dances, six of which have been booked in for this year already.