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VICTORIA Theatre Salford

Group dedicated to the acquisition and restoration of the Victoria Theatre, Great Clewes Street, Salford
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Oct 17, 2017

2017 Update – Progress this year


In January we kicked off the year with a meeting with the Salford Mayor Paul Dennett who was very positive about what we are trying to do and we now have a growing partnership with Salford Council and the Mayor’s office.

We have also met with representatives of The Theatres Trust to raise the profile of our campaign. Please see the article published by The Theatres Trust on this site.. We hope to be able to visit the theatre with The TT and check the condition of the interior. A representative of the TT is liaising with the owner on this and we hope to be able to give you an update on this before the end of the year. Fingers crossed.

We have also spent 2017 taking part in workshops as part of the Manchester Heritage Trust Network that have been invaluable in providing links to various funding bodies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Architectural Heritage Fund and Historic England. We have met other groups and learnt about their projects and how their experiences can help us and we have had inspirational talks from people such as Erika Rushton of the Granby 4Streets project in Liverpool which has been going now for thirty years. Read more on the Granby 4Streets website. If our organisation could progress as theirs has done we would be very happy. We have learnt a lot about project development and sustainability, it is most important that the theatre can be a sustainable business after refurbishment. As a result we have been invited to apply for funding for a Project Viability Report by the AHF. The application depends on us getting match funding from the council and we are working on this but as you know since Grenfell Tower went up in flames all councils are struggling to fund lagging projects for existing buildings. I’m afraid the theatre cannot be a priority for them at this time. So we must do all we can to raise awareness of the plight of the theatre and raise as much money as we can to help save it.

Apart from that we are working on the organisation of our group for planning and such things as Public Liability Insurance which we will need to run public fund raising events. So we are also working on having a Health & Safety Policy in our Business Plan and need to work up Risk Assessments and Method Statements, etc for all this. Not the most fun bit of this sort of work but it has to be done. We could do with some help on this side of things, experience is invaluable because things done much more quickly. I must emphasise that everybody in the group works on a voluntary basis and if anyone would like to help, please become a Friend of the Salford Victoria and contact us via this website or through Facebook.

Some of you may have heard the interview that Allen and Chris did on Mike Sweeney’s show on Radio Manchester. Mike was already genned up about the theatre and our campaign and very kindly offered to do anything he could to help straight off the bat. A lovely man, and our first Patron. So a big thanks to Mike Sweeney and Radio Manchester and to Chris for getting us the spot and Allen for doing it.

We hope to have a heritage stall at Salford’s Big Day Out this year so that we can meet people and discuss what they think would be good uses for the theatre in the community and would like to organise a series of Open Mic events to meet local talent and hopefully raise money for our Fighting Fund at the same time. It would be great to be able to showcase local talent in the theatre and this is something we aim to do when the theatre is open again.

We also like to meet more casually with the Friends of The Salford Victoria and will be looking for some feedback soon on how many people would like to come down so that we can work out what sort of venue would be best. I’m thinking a decent pub would be good myself.

I’ve saved our most recent and exciting news till last if you’ve read this far. We have a new member, living locally, who is going to make a short film about the group and the theatre and the campaign to save it. I’m really looking forward to that and I think it’s just what our campaign needs.

Please keep your comments and ideas coming in on Facebook and email and please join the Friends of The Salford Victoria. And don’t forget to tell everyone you know about The Salford Victoria.