Trust formed to buy Peterborough New Theatre looking for people’s support
A new Community Interest Company is being formed to purchase the freehold of Peterborough’s New Theatre and ensure it is maintained as the “anchor” cultural venue for the city centre in perpetuity.
Peter Dawe, whose Dawe Charitable Trust leased the theatre in 2017, before stepping aside in 2019 for the current tenants Selladoor Worldwide to move in - is behind the venture which he describes as “an excellent opportunity for the community to buy the theatre and start to improve its facilities – whilst also protecting its long term future.”
The theatre being in community ownership would allow it to access grants and government funds that were out of reach in private ownership, he said.
He stressed that the Peterborough New Theatre Trust has negotiated to buy the theatre, in Broadway, from its current landlord - city entrepreneur and restaurant owner Rinaldo Fasulo - and has been given 12 months to come up with the money - £3.25million.
“The Trust believes that communities in and around Peterborough will step forward and either donate or lend most of the cost of the investment, augmented by grants and loans from government agencies, other charities and local philanthropists,” says Mr Dawe, adding that the Trust has already secured £150,000 towards the target.
“I do not start a project unless I think it is viable and I think raising the necessary amount of money to purchase the theatre is feasible, so now is the time.
“What we are short of is Peterborough people who are as enthusiastic about the theatre as I am and Selladoor are.
“At this stage we are looking for Peterborough people to show their support by becoming ‘An Angel of the New Theatre’ by simply emailing [email protected] and telling us how they could help buy the theatre. We are particularly looking for people who want to help us promote the Peterborough New Theatre Trust.
“Join our campaign to bring the Peterborough New Theatre into community ownership, to ensure that Peterborough and its people can continue to benefit from a first-class arts venue in the city.”
The theatre’s owner Rinaldo, who bought it in 2004 from Peter Boizot, said there was no deal in place to sell the building, but added: “From day one, when he first got involved with the theatre, leasing it from me, Peter said that at some point in the future he wanted to buy it. And I wish him well.”