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Banbury’s popular Mill Arts Centre will get help making visitors comfy with a new council grant.
Cherwell District Council has approved a capital grant worth £80,000 to the Mills Arts Centre Trust to purchase a new seating rake. The decision comes into effect today, 13 April. It includes approval of the venue’s five-year plan and a commitment by Cherwell to continue to support its trustees to secure long term investment.
The centre’s wide-ranging programme includes cinema, comedy, dance, music and theatre as well as a range of workshops and classes. It has recently established a charitable trust and, as it puts its five-year plan into practice, is looking to demonstrate the value for money that investment in the arts creates for north Oxfordshire’s residents and economy.
“The Mills Arts Centre Trust has done an exemplary job of replacing lost grant aid with additional earned income and funding from other trusts and foundations.
“Cherwell is delighted to support the venue’s future plans for artistic delivery to the people of north Oxfordshire, and will continue to provide an annual grant to support it.
“The Mill has done a great job of attracting new audiences, but market research has shown that the seating needs to improve to help attract repeat attendance. Cherwell’s grant will help The Mill deliver a more comfortable customer experience, contributing to the sustainability of one of north Oxfordshire’s most important cultural venues.”
The new seating will come as the first of three phases of planned improvements to the building. It will create more legroom, a more comfortable visitor experience, and allow a modest increase in capacity. It is ultimately expected to encourage more repeat custom which will help the overall viability of the venue.
The work is expected to take place in August, traditionally a quiet time for theatres, and to be followed by improvements to the toilets, hospitality and backstage areas in phase two.
For the latest information on The Mill Arts Centre’s programme visit www.themillartscentre.co.uk
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