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Theatre company’s “icing on the cake”


A grant of $190,299 is the “icing on the cake” for Newcastle Theatre Company as it undergoes a major refurbishment.

The funds were announced last Thursday under the state government’s inaugural My Community Project initiative.

Newcastle Theatre Company (NTC) president Claire Williams said it would enable its Lambton-based complex to complete a significant facelift, improved amenity for members and patrons, and a new community space.

“We are in the middle of a major refurbishment of our facilities to meet fire and safety compliance and this grant is the icing on the cake while these works and our fundraising efforts continue,” she said.

“The grant will allow us to install new air conditioning for the auditorium and stage areas, repair and replace the façade of both theatre buildings facing De Vitre Street, build a new storage structure for props and set pieces, and refurbish the laneway between the two buildings as a new community space.”

Ms Williams said NTC was grateful to the Rotary Club of Newcastle Enterprise, which sponsored the project, as well as the people in the Wallsend electorate, who voted for it as part of the bid process.

“NTC is not just about providing creative opportunities for Hunter people but has a mission to give patrons and the community safe, inspiring and multipurpose facilities for the use of a wide range of people as possible.”

The company will continue a fundraising campaign to meet the remaining compliance requirements, brought on by updated government regulations and as part of existing development approval.

Apart from NTC, New Vine Baptist Church, based in Maryland, also received a $70,000 grant under the program.

In Maitland, three schools shared in almost $300,000 in funding.

Residents voted for Metford Public School, Maitland Public School and St Aloysius Catholic Primary School, Chisholm, to support their projects.

Metford will use its $150,000 grant for a community play space, while Maitland Public has been handed $95,000 to create an outdoor space for performances and community events.

St Aloysius’ $50,000 will establish a plastic recycling station.

In Lake Macquarie, Coal Point Public School received $198,086 for a nature space and community hub; Toronto Community Kitchen picked up $34,000, which will allow it to offer a free weekly meal and, for a small payment, guests can get a small box of groceries; and a Carer Support Group Respite Program in Cooranbong was handed $20,000.

The big winner in Newcastle was a multi-purpose all-weather greenspace for kids at The Junction. It received $143,000.

The My Community Project program attracted votes from more than 61,437 people across the state.

Visit mycommunityproject.service.nsw.gov.au to view results.

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