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Sterts Receive Community Ownership Fund Award

Sterts are beyond excited to announce that they have been awarded £300,000 of government “levelling up” money in recognition of its service to rural communities.

This money will be used to rebuild the theatre after the structural damage it suffered that was caused by severe weather.

Announcing the Community Ownership Fund (COF) award, Jacob Young MP, Minister for Levelling Up, explained that the scheme is designed to “help save community assets at risk of loss and to empower communities to shape the things that matter most to them”.

The next phase of the development will be to engage a local architect to look at a wide range of options for an all-weather, year-round venue, combining state-of-the-art materials and design with exceptional environmental credentials.

Sterts chairman, Nick Hart, praised the dedicated staff and volunteers who ensured the venue continued to function as a venue this summer, despite losing its roof, and the team who worked on the successful application to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

“I am beyond excited,” he said. “First, my thanks to the very extended team that enabled company secretary Sarah Pym and myself to put the bid together. No email went unanswered, no request was too awkward, and although I never dared think we would get it, the combined strength of ‘Team Sterts’ shone through the whole application.”

Mr Hart added that a new, purpose-built theatre building would be more in keeping with Sterts’ rural setting. Durability, flexibility and environmental flair will be at the heart of the design, and the aim will be to spark creative imagination in audiences, practitioners, participants, and the wider community. The COF funding will also enable the charity to employ a full-time manager to realise the ambitions set out in a new five-year business plan.

“After some very difficult times, with the pandemic and the loss of the canopy, thanks to the generous support of the government’s Community Ownership Fund all those involved in Sterts are now looking forward to a very successful future,” added Mr Hart.

For further information and interviews, contact: Nick Hart on email: chair@stertsarts.org