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£1m funding pledge for “impressive” Mercury Theatre redevelopment

17 May 2016

Essex County Council today agreed to make £1m of funding available to invest into the Mercury Theatre’s comprehensive expansion and improvement plan launched last year and scheduled for completion in 2020.

This pledge is in recognition of the “quality, scope and potential impact for Essex as a whole” of the Colchester-based theatre company’s proposals and is subject to all of the additional project funding being secured.

The Mercury Theatre has also received similar pledges of support for its £8.8m plan from Colchester Borough Council and Arts Council England, subject to certain conditions.

The Mercury Theatre plans include improving and extending audience and production facilities whilst also creating a learning and participation centre that will help to extend its educational and community work.

Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, said: “We’re very pleased to be investing in this great organisation that does so much positive work for Colchester, not just in arts and culture but in outreach, community projects and in bringing investment to the borough.”

Cllr John Spence, Essex County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Heritage, Culture and the Arts, said: “The Mercury’s proposal is hugely impressive. The quality, scope and potential impact for Essex as a whole is clear. It has been interesting to understand the scale and reach of Mercury activity; this scheme will enable more development of unique skills, and our support sits alongside that we are giving for other aspects of the creative arts strategy in Colchester such as University of Essex, firstsite and the Creative Hub.”

Mercury Theatre Executive Director Steve Mannix said: “This is a major boost to our fundraising at a key moment in the campaign. This backing will help us to create great theatre in exciting new spaces used by the whole community, and boosts our ambitions to share facilities, skills and knowledge with arts organisations across the county.”