For the past few years, a small team has been working hard on behalf of Sharnbrook Mill Theatre to raise money for the Warm Up/Cool Down Appeal. This is our project to install a green-energy based heating and appropriate cooling systems for the whole of the Mill.

The Warm Up/Cool Down appeal-progress to date


An innovative and effective green energy heating system, based on water-source heat pumps using water from the Mill stream, has now been installed throughout the Mill at a total cost of around £185,000. The last element was the foyer for which work was completed earlier this year. This part of the project is now fully funded and the Governors’ loans that were made to enable the work to proceed have now all been repaid. The project received international recognition when it came second in the leisure category of the annual worldwide Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers 2018 awards. We were beaten by a £50 million sports centre project in Edinburgh – a rather different scale of project!

The first phase of the cooling project, which involved the installation of air-conditioning in the club room is also now complete and fully funded. The final element of the project is installing air conditioning in the auditorium. This will cost about £70,000. A full programme of fund-raising events has been planned for the next 12 months. To date, around £10,000 has been raised or pledged. It had been hoped that the cooling part of the project would be linked to the new heating system but this has proved to be technically infeasible.

Highlights of the Appeal

  • Four very successful performances at the Quarry Theatre in Bedford of Lucy Parham’s very popular composer portraits in words and music all of which have almost been sell-outs. So far, she has performed Beloved Clara about Robert and Clara Schumann, Elegie chronicling the life of Sergei Rachmaninoff, Odyssey of Love about Liszt and his women and, in 2018, Reverie, concerning the life and loves of Claude Debussy. Lucy has been joined by well-known thespians Joanna David (0ne of our Patrons), Robert Glenister, Henry Goodman and Sir Simon Russell Beale. On 23rd February 2020, Lucy returns to perform Nocturne, about the life of Frederic Chopin, and will be joined by Patricia Hodge and Alex Jennings.
  • On stage conversations with Joanna David and her husband Edward Fox and son Freddie Fox.
  • Phyllida Law also came on another occasion and joined Joanna on stage.
  • Two visits by Sara Spade, the Ukulele Lady, the second in the summer of 2019 for a tea-time party in a marquee by the river.
  • An entertaining evening with Lincoln Noel, who returns on December 7th 2019 to take part in a celebration of 40 years at the Mill.
  • An auctions of promises, quiz nights, race nights, rock concerts and several enjoyable lunches with speakers.

Other fund-raisers

The 50/50 club now has 176 members, but it would be great to get that up to 200. There is a small group of on-line shoppers who have raised just over £1000 using the easyfundraising site. More participants are needed – it costs you nothing! Various charitable trusts have supported the appeal very generously including The Wixamtree Trust, the Gale Family Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation. Grants of over £50000 have been received.

In the news

The Mill was featured on the BBC web-site. You can see the report here.

What you can do

You can join the 50/50 club – it only costs £1 a month and there are 3 cash prizes every month.

If you shop online, log onto our Easyfundraising page

Come along and support some of our fund-raising events – the full programme can be found on our homepage.

Organise a fund-raising event in aid of the appeal or take part in a sponsored event.

Get involved with the hardworking team leading the fund-raising efforts – we can always do with more members!

Finding out more

If you need to know more about any fund raising activity and want to help then please contact:

Brian Woodrow Flat 5,
27 The Embankment,
MK40 3PE

Tel: 01234 349455