Show will go on at Burnley Youth Theatre thanks to generous cash donation

Share this article

A generous cash donation to Burnley Youth Theatre has rounded off a mammoth community effort to help get the show back on the road after a huge setback.

A cheque for £2,500 was presented to the theatre on behalf of Burnley Leisure.

Aiden Kelly (left) who is finance and operations co-ordinator at Burnley Youth Theatre receives the cheque from Mark Dempsey who is Hospitality General Manager for Burnley Leisure and Krista Humphreys who is the assistant hospitality manager.

Aiden Kelly (left) who is finance and operations co-ordinator at Burnley Youth Theatre receives the cheque from Mark Dempsey who is Hospitality General Manager for Burnley Leisure and Krista Humphreys who is the assistant hospitality manager.

The money will go towards refurbishment of the front of house area at the theatre which was severely damaged after a devastating flood last year.

Mark Dempsey, who is the General Hospitality Manager for Burnley Leisure Trust, a registered charity that operates the majority of leisure facilities in the borough, said: "As a Trust we have had a successful partnership with Burnley Youth Theatre and we wanted to do something to help.

"The Mechanics Theatre is booming at the moment and we want to share that success so we contacted Unilever, one of our suppliers, and they came forward with the £2,500."

The flooding was caused by a burst pipe, with water pouring from the ladies' toilets into the main foyer, as well as one of the studio spaces and the backstage area, and the whole of the building's floor with the exception of the theatre room had to be ripped up.

The flood also destroyed some costumes at the Queen's Park Road building in May.

Staff and volunteers at the youth theatre faced a further setback as the building needed a new roof. But an appeal soon raised an incredible £10,000 to foot the bill for repairs.

Aiden Kelly, who is finance and operations co-ordinator for Burnley Youth Theatre said the organisation was extremely grateful to everyone who had helped it to get back on its feet.

Aiden said: "The money from Burnley Leisure means we can finish off the box office and confectionery facility at the theatre which will be ready in time for the official re-opening in May.

"We would also like to thank parents, participants and supporters in the community who donated and organised fund raising events for our Raise the Roof Appeal."

After the refurbishment is completed the countdown begins to the official re-opening when the guest of honour will be Sir Ian McKellen who is celebrating his 80th birthday with an 80-date tour of regional theatres. He will be coming to Burnley as a nod to the town of his birth.