READING’S much loved arts centre, South Street, is celebrating the end of its £800k major improvement work this February.
The future of the arts centre was secured last year, thanks to a generous award of £500,000 from the Arts Council England and just over £300,000 from Reading Council.
The arts centre, which has been closed since June, with some limited opening since November 2016, has been revamped to feature new seating, toilets, dressing rooms and a brand new purpose built bar.
The theatre now boasts state of the art intelligent LED lighting, new staging and fully equipped technical capabilities to support the diverse programme that visits the venue.
Improvements have also been made to the fabric of the building including refurbishing all of the original sash windows and decoration of the interior and exterior.
The art centre’s events programme will now kick off in earnest with some favourites visiting the venue including: Lucy Porter, Shappi Khorsandi, Toot, Sh!t Theatre, Mitch Benn and Leveret over the next few months. For full details call the box office on 0118 9606060 or visit www.readingarts.com/south-street
Fans of South Street now have an exciting opportunity to be part of the art centre’s bright future, with the launch of a new membership scheme.
Membership benefits include priority notification on shows and regular newsletters with the latest news from the venue. Members will also be invited to find out first what is happening behind the scenes, and to attend seasonal launch, and other special events, throughout the year. Details of how to join can be found here: www.readingarts.com/south-street/membership
Cllr Paul Gittings, Reading’s Lead Member for Culture, said: “I’m delighted at the fantastic transformation that has taken place at South Street. There is so much to look forward to now in the venue’s varied 2017 events programme.
“The Council is very proud to have provided and funded the venue for many years, recognising the importance of its offer to the local and regional arts scene. Despite our current financial constraints, thanks to the generous extra funding from the Arts Council – which we are very grateful for – we have been able to improve the facilities at this much loved location.
“The value of having a full equipped space for the breadth of arts activity taking place in Reading cannot be underestimated, and the expectation is that South Street will grow and develop its creative influence going forward, with the capacity to further support local and national arts groups from its refurbished new home. It is truly a vital part of the future legacy of Reading’s Year of Culture.
“Following the swell of support from the public for the venue last year, we also hope people will sign up to the new membership scheme. This support will ensure we are able to invest in the building in the future and continue to provide a programme that is diverse and unique in Reading for years to come.”
South Street’s grand opening evening drinks reception will take place on the 17th February from 7pm, with a short show from local and nationally acclaimed theatre artists (invite only).
Media invite: Members of the press are welcome to attend the launch party (invite only) on 17th February from 7pm, with a tour of the new facilities and opportunities for a photo call during the event. Please contact John Luther at John.Luther@reading.gov.uk if you would like to attend.
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