THE TALISMAN Theatre in Kenilworth is set to receive a long-awaited makeover thanks to a leg-up from the town council.
The Barrow Road venue has been awarded up to £100,000 by Kenilworth Town Council from its Community Infrastructure Levy fund to help finance the first stage of its redevelopment.
Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the grant, after a number of council members spoke in support of the application.
In 2019 planning permission was granted for a £1.3million project to create a community space by extending and improving the bar and foyer area, along with an extension to the upper floor.
Theatre chair Nigel Elliott said: “This is an incredibly exciting time. We’re proud of the high standard of theatre we produce here however, our 50-year-old building is in need of refurbishment. So that we can continue to provide the wonderful plays, musicals and pantomimes the people of Kenilworth expect from us we need to make sure the theatre is fit for the next 50 years. We’re enormously grateful for the funding we’ve received from Kenilworth Town Council which, along with other grants and our own fund-raising will, we hope, enable us to start work on the first phase this year.”
Writer and Talisman patron Andrew Davies wrote in support of the theatre: “The Talisman’s bid for funding to expand its performance space will be vitally important for the youth group in particular. As we emerge from Covid restrictions, it is so important that the creative life of Kenilworth gets going again – and young people in the town, as everywhere else, have had such a rough deal over the last year, they deserve some support and encouragement.
“The Talisman Theatre has been an important cultural force in Kenilworth certainly since the sixties, when I first saw a production there – we should all support it.”
The theatre started life back in 1942 in an old tannery in the town’s centre. In 1962, permission was given for a new shopping centre – now Talisman Square – so the venue found its current home in Barrow Road.
Supporters can also donate to the project at www.talismantheatre.co.uk.