Following the success of our first Open Day, work is progressing really well on our redevelopment project. The temporary roof has been removed and Kier are now laying the new roof insulation. Work is also taking place to install roof lights in the upper mezzanine areas, and the natural ventilation system in the auditorium.
Our new building, which will provide 300 more seats within the three-tiered auditorium, an unveiled heritage, lively bars and cafés and a creative digital hub with vibrant work and social spaces, remains on schedule to re-open in Autumn 2020. So far we have raised just over 90% of the funding required for our transformation. We now need to raise the remaining £2.2million to fully realise our ambitions.
We officially launched our community fund raising campaign just after Easter with a 5km fun run at the Eden Project. We were joined by teams of energetic runners from companies and organisations from across Cornwall who braved the Cornish mizzle and steep hills of the Eden Project to raise money to help us create our exciting new theatre. A huge thank you to HFC supporter Julian Jenkins for organising the event, the teams from Santander, Bishop Fleming Chartered Accountants, Stephens Scown, Kier, Miller Commercial, and Kepak for putting on their trainers, and the large numbers of supporters who came to cheer everyone around the course.
We will be announcing further fund raising initiatives over the next few months so visit our website and Facebook page to find out how you can get involved. We are also planning to be at this year’s Royal Cornwall Show so come and see us if you are going along.
Last month we signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with Falmouth University setting out our shared commitment to driving the Cornish economy through the promotion of the Creative Industries over the next five years. Cornwall is a very special place with a unique cultural heritage and wealth of creative and entrepreneurial talent. We have always had a positive working relationship with Falmouth University and, as part of the MOU, we will be strengthening this relationship and using our networks, infrastructure and knowledge capital to transform Cornwall’s cultural and economic future.
The MOU focuses on three key areas –People, Places and Business - with specific objectives including developing and retaining local talent, producing and delivering a Culture Strategy for Truro, developing ‘creative clusters’ throughout Cornwall and encouraging new investment to co-finance start-ups and providing support for talented students and entrepreneurs.
Finally, in another piece of good news, two talented members of our flagship youth programme have been offered places at leading national drama and dance schools for this September. HFC Youth Theatre group member Josh Williams has accepted a place at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, one of the most prestigious drama schools in the country which was attended by Oscar winning actor Olivia Coleman. At the same time Youth Dance Company member Ned Ratcliffe has secured a place to study dance at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, one of the UK’s leading conservatoires, just a few months after being awarded a place in the National Youth Dance Company.
We are very proud of all of our young people who form part of our youth companies. Our Arts Development team works hard to provide them with the right kind of training and the right kind of experiences to best equip them with the skills and confidence needed to realise their dreams. Congratulations to Josh and Ned and we will wish them great success in their careers in the arts.