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Fiscal stimulus funding to refurbish Jersey Opera House

30 July 2010

The Jersey Opera House has the green light to turn a derelict area into a new performance and rehearsal studio, as one of the final funding schemes from the fiscal stimulus fund.

Treasury and Resources Minister Senator Philip Ozouf has agreed to allocate £112,000 to the Education, Sports and Culture Department so that the Jersey Opera House can go out to tender for the project, which also includes refurbishment of the administration offices, upgrading catering facilities and providing additional performance spaces.

Funding of the full scheme will be considered once the tenders have been received and evaluated.

The refurbished facilities will be designed to support a wide range of activities including small scale performances, dance classes, youth theatre, workshops by visiting dance and drama groups, corporate presentations and corporate hospitality, which the existing facility cannot currently accommodate.

In particular, the small scale performance space will provide facilities for all age groups from five upwards, particularly emerging artists. It is also planned that the studio will be used through the day, which will provide a new source of income and ‘bring the theatre to life’, says the chair of Jersey Opera House Board, Pierre Horsfall.

Mr Horsfall added “The proposals will transform a redundant, dilapidated building to enable new activities that will provide Islanders with a much improved arts and cultural facility.

“I am delighted that we have been given this funding, which will ensure the theatre has a bright long-term future.”

Treasury and Resources Minister Senator Philip Ozouf said “As well as providing work to the construction sector, this development will enable the Jersey Opera House to increase the diversity of the creative activities it offers, increase the number of users and participatory groups and increase audience numbers.

“Being able to offer its facilities to corporate hire and hospitality will also increase the revenue income of this publicly funded business. I have also asked the Department of Education, Sport and Culture to prepare plans to maximise the use of the refurbished space as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review.”

Education, Sport and Culture Minister Deputy James Reed welcomed the decision by Senator Ozouf. He said “At last the final part of the redevelopment of the Jersey Opera House will be able to go ahead. 

“The Opera House is a unique public building and the improvements will help secure the long-term future of this wonderful facility. I would like to thank Pierre Horsfall, Jasmine Hendry and the Board for working with ESC to enable this important project to be undertaken.”

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