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HS2 raises curtain on £75,000 funding for new Stone theatre: View from the canal, Crown Wharf Theatre
HS2 raises curtain on £75,000 funding for new Stone theatre: View from the canal, Crown Wharf Theatre

HS2 raises curtain on £75,000 funding for new Stone theatre

  • Crown Wharf Theatre on the former Joule’s Brewery site set to receive the largest award handed out on the second phase of the HS2 project

Stone’s new theatre project has been awarded £75,000 from HS2’s Community & Environment fund to help build a new auditorium and community space for the town.

Overlooking the Trent & Mersey Canal, the Crown Wharf Theatre is built on the former Joule’s Brewery site. The firm has constructed and donated the shell of the theatre space to provide the project with a base to create the town’s new cultural space.

Although the Theatre still has more funds to raise, HS2’s award will enable the site to enhance accessibility and buy a lighting grid, sprung timber flooring, sound equipment and acoustic treatments.

The award is the largest made by HS2’s Community & Environment Fund covering the Phase 2a section of the new high speed rail network between the West Midlands and Crewe.

Independent Chair of HS2 Funds, Cathy Elliott, said:

“The Crown Wharf Theatre’s successful application has enabled it to progress construction to a point where it can start being used and create an income stream to continue its development.  The theatre will be a highly-valued asset for Stone and the surrounding area, and I am pleased that HS2’s Community & Environment Fund has been able to help get the scheme off the ground.  

“I encourage other community projects to find out more about the HS2 Funds and the tangible benefits they offer to communities between the West Midlands and Crewe.”

Crown Wharf Theatre Trustee, Leo Capernaros, said:

“HS2’s CEF funding will deliver a key phase of the auditorium’s development, helping us to turn the shell of a building into the new Crown Wharf Theatre.

“We still have more money to raise and a lot more work to do to completely finish the auditorium, but having an operational space that the community can begin to use and enjoy will be a huge boost, and ensure local people begin to feel the benefit of this new facility in the town.”

The HS2 Community & Environment Fund (CEF) and Business & Local Economy Fund (BLEF) have been in operation on Phase One of the route between the West Midlands and London since MPs gave it the go-ahead in 2017. To date more than 186 projects have successfully applied for over £10m.

Following Parliament’s approval of the next phase of HS2 in February 2021, the CEF and BLEF Funds were extended to the new 36-miles of route between Crewe and the West Midlands and a further £5m was made available. Applications to both Funds, which are designed go beyond mitigation and statutory compensation to benefit communities and economies along the route are now open.  (Link to HS2 Community and Business Funds)

The Funds are independently administered by community charity Groundwork UK.

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