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Crowdfunding campaign aims to raise £1m to revive town theatre

CAMPAIGNERS have formed a community interest company to raise the funding to reopen the Granada Theatre in Kettering.

BHVA Axis Hub CIC has launched a crowdfunding campaign to purchase the former Gala Bingo Hall pictured above in High Street.

Co-founders Beccy Hurrell pictured left and Lindsey Atkins right want to revive the Granada Theatre, which once hosted performances by the Rolling Stones, The Who and Morecambe & Wise, as a community hub hosting theatre, performance space, a music studio and with rehearsal rooms, hot desking facilities and a café.

To raise funds to purchase the building, BHVA Axis Hub CIC needs to show match funding from the community in order to access grants to be used acquiring assets. The CIC has launched its crowdfunding campaign on Crowdfunder UK, aiming to raise £1 million to cover the costs of purchasing the premises – also a former cinema – and then making it secure and safe.

Ms Hurrell, who founded arts delivery business Beccy Hurrell Voice & Arts with Ms Atkins during lockdown in 2020, said: “We see the former Bingo Hall as a way to bring a new identity to the High Street, a place to bring together communities, for the creative arts, businesses and people to flourish. Our crowdfunding campaign is a key part of our efforts to make this project a reality, and we are both excited and humbled to see the support we are receiving from the community.”

She and Ms Atkins founded BHVA Axis Hub CIC in 2021. The CIC is among the finalists at the national BizX Awards 2023 for best not-for-profit business.

BHVA Axis Hub CIC is inviting the community to become involved in the project and to support their crowdfunding campaign at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/axishubforkettering. Donations of any amount are welcome – sponsorship opportunities are also available.

“Essentially, we want to pay it forward,” said Ms Atkins. “The creative arts have played a huge part in our lives and we have experienced first-hand ourselves what it can do to help turn your life around.

“We do not come from Kettering but have both made our homes and rediscovered ourselves while being here. We want others to have this opportunity too.”

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