As well as our regular productions at Sharnbrook Mill Theatre, we also organise fundraising activities to support the future of our building and our theatre group.
Why is it needed?
In 2012, it was decided that the long-standing problem of heating and cooling the Mill needed to be tackled. Sometimes very cold in winter and uncomfortably hot in summer, the work had to be done to ensure the future of the theatre. The historic converted flour mill has no insulation so, inevitably, the cost was going to be high. The estimate for the work was up to £300,000. To find that amount of money, it was necessary to start a fundraising campaign as the cost could not be covered from normal show revenues. A team of volunteers was recruited and the fundraising committee established.
What has been achieved so far?
Around £240,000 has been raised to date. The innovative water source heat pump-based heating system, which received financial support from the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive programme, has been installed. It is now operational throughout the building and is fully funded at a cost of over £180,000. Air conditioning has now been installed in the rehearsal room and in the auditorium at a cost of over £80,000. Currently, there is a shortfall of around £20,000 but some generous loans have been made to enable the work in the auditorium to be completed during the COVID-19 restrictions.
How was the money raised?
The fundraising team have worked extremely hard, putting on many very enjoyable events that have raised significant sums. A basic principle is that fundraising must be fun and the loyal support of many people, many of whom are not Mill members, shows how popular the events have been. The support of our Patrons, Joanna David and Hugh Laurie, has been hugely helpful. In addition, we have received significant grants from charitable trusts and some generous personal donations. Lastly, ongoing projects like the 50/50 Club and online shopping connections have provided additional revenue.
What projects are in the future?
The first priority is to pay back any money that has been loaned to us. When that has been achieved, the resurfacing of the car park is likely to be the next project. This will probably cost close to £40,000.
What can I do to help?
There are several important ways you can contribute to our fundraising efforts.
- You could join our fundraising team and help us to organise events and initiatives to fund the future of the Mill Theatre. If you would like to get involved, contact us through the website and one of us will be in touch.
- You can attend our fundraising events which are always advertised on the website and on social media.
- You can contribute via online shopping. This doesn’t cost a thing and there are different options available depending on where you shop.
- You can join our 50/50 Club, donate money and potentially win a monthly prize.
- You can make a direct donation to Sharnbook Mill Theatre. We don’t have this set-up online just yet, but you can contact us and we will pass your message onto our treasurer, Alan Capper.
If you need to know more about any fundraising activity, please contact:
Brian Woodrow Flat 5,
27 The Embankment,
Tel: 01234 349455