In 2017, a fire risk assessment was undertaken and, to the dismay of the Grange Players, the theatre was judged unfit to be open to the public. Around £150,000 was needed for the theatre to meet safety standards; money which the Grange Players just didn’t have. The theatre had to close whilst the Grange Players Ltd, a registered charity, made plans to fundraise in earnest.
A year on and the Players have raised an incredible £60,000 – enough to pay for sufficient works to meet basic safety standards and enable them to move back ‘home’ and kick off a new season of productions.
To help the theatre have some certainty for the future, Walsall Council has also stepped in with £45,000 of funding.
Councillor Garry Perry, Portfolio Holder for Community, Leisure and Culture said:
“As a keen supporter of grass roots arts, I’m really pleased that we are able to help this local charity. Over the years many hundreds of people have had the opportunity to tread the boards at The Grange and in so doing, grow in confidence and ability.”
“If you’ve never been to The Grange before, why not try it out and book tickets for ‘The Dresser’, their first show of the season? It’s right on our doorstep and parking is free too – you won’t get that in Birmingham or Wolverhampton!”
Louise Farmer, Company Secretary said:
“The funding provided by Walsall Council feels like a real lifeline to us. On top of the money raised to date by our wonderful patrons, some of whom have been with us for well over 50 years, we can now plan ahead with optimism. We still need to raise another £50,000 to complete all of the works and so we’d be extremely grateful to anyone who is able to support us.”
“We first put ‘The Dresser’ on back in 1983. It’s a lovely play, full of humour and pathos and we’re sure it will go down really well.”