THE Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis hopes to secure a European Union grant of £47,200 to improve its lighting equipment, thanks to financial support from the town council.
Lyme Regis Town Council has agreed to offer the theatre a short-term loan of £40,000 to ensure it meets the conditions for the grant funding.
Lyme Arts Community Trust (LACT), which operates the theatre, submitted a grant application to Dorset LEADER for funding from the EU to install a new lighting rig, training bar and desk.
Installation will bring the Marine’s outdated lighting equipment up to industry standards and will be geared towards a technical training course for 14 to 18 years olds – the only one of its kind in the local area.
The equipment would also benefit several local organisations that hold productions in the theatre.
The total cost of the project is £59,000 and the application was successful in securing £47,200 from Dorset LEADER, with LACT contributing £10,800 itself.
However, as a condition of receiving the grant funding, the trust must hold at least the total cost of the project – £59,000 – in its bank account for the duration of the project from March to June 2019. The trust currently has £20,000 in its bank account and holds no reserves.
The town council has agreed to offer a short-term loan of £40,000 between March 1 and August 31 2019, allowing time to pay contractors and for the Dorset LEADER funding to come through.
Councillors spoke positively about the theatre when they considered the request at an extraordinary meeting this week.
The Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Michaela Ellis, said the council should be encouraging other local organisation to do the same in seeking grant funding from other sources.