Funding for renovation from LC Seating
The Hawk’s Well Theatre are delighted to announce LC Seating, based in Grange. Co. Sligo have pledged €1,000 a year to the theatre’s renovation fund for the next three years and are going to sponsor removable seats for wheelchair users as part of the renovation. LC Seating are one of Ireland’s leading suppliers of rehabilitation and seating products. They operate throughout Ireland, primarily dealing with occupational therapy / seating clinics in providing engineered solutions for a variety of complex seating needs. (Pictured are Luke Conway from LC Seating with Jane Parsons from the Hawk’s Well Theatre).
Accessibility is a major issue at the 36 year old theatre with wheelchair users having to enter around the back of the building. The planned renovations will provide one entrance for all so that wheelchair users can enter along with everybody else through the main entrance.
A total of €1.2 million is needed for the theatre’s renovation which will cover:
- A landmark renovation of the existing theatre’s entrance and foyer space to create an accessible and inviting building for one and all
- An upgrade of the auditorium to bring it in line with modern day theatre standards.
- Implementation of essential flood prevention measures.
At the start of 2017 the theatre secured €550,000 in capital funding from The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD. This announcement started major fundraising initiatives at the thirty-six-year-old venue as this pledged funding will only become available once the same amount of money has been fundraised by the theatre.
This year the theatre has secured €78,278 in funding from LEADER to put towards further renovations at the theatre. This accounts for 75% of the total amount required (€103,471.44) to renovate the backstage area of the theatre. This will cover the purchase of new stage curtains, installation of a new sound system, new flooring in the dressing rooms and corridors backstage, new step and house lights in the auditorium, renovation of the dressing rooms and energy upgrades to the theatre’s heating system. The remaining 25% must be raised through match funding.
Jane Parsons, Fundraiser at the theatre is delighted with the response from the public to date. “We would like to say a really big thank you to the public for their support to date as €200,000 has been raised so far towards the renovation fund. We still have a long way to go to fix our old building and bring it up to modern standards. The theatre flooded again in January of this year after really heavy rain, just before Sligo Hospital Musical Society’s pantomime. It is vital that we get this flooding problem sorted now to secure the theatre into the future.”
A new ‘Renovation Patron’ scheme was launched in 2017 which is proving successful and to date the theatre have welcomed Michael Flatley, AIB, West Coast Orthodontics, Kilcawley Construction, WB Yeats Society of New York and The Quinn Family Foundation as renovation patrons along with a number of individuals and families. Individuals, families or companies can contribute to the renovation fund by becoming renovation patrons and donating funds across various levels of support. Renovation patrons will be acknowledged in perpetuity within the extended building and will become a permanent part of the Hawk’s Well history.
The Theatre would like to also thank Michael & Caitriona Coleman and John & Lorna Gault for their recent generous donations to the theatre.
The theatre hosts ‘Sing for the hell of it’ sessions which are open to everyone and anyone who likes to sing. These fundraising sing alongs are hosted by choirmaster Dave Flynn and are great fun with proceeds going to the renovation fund. The next ‘Sing for the hell of it’ evening is a ‘Grease’ special, celebrating 40 years of the musical and takes place on Thursday 28th of June at 8pm. Tickets are €5 with proceeds going to the renovation fund. A late Summer celebratation fundraiser for the theatre is planned to take place at Markree Castle on Wednesday 5th of September. This late summer soirée will feature an intimate performance by The Whileaways in the stunning castle chapel and a late summer feast in the Grand Hall. Tickets are €50 and proceeds go the theatre’s renovation fund.
In order to raise funds €1 has been added to the price of all tickets sold since May 2017. Through the development levy, fundraising events and donations from the public, along with pledged money from Sligo Council, Sligo BID and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht the theatre will be in a position to complete renovations within three years’ time.
The plan to renew and regenerate the theatre will ensure its future for many years to come. The proposed improvements and redevelopment at the site will transform the theatre into a stunning arts centre, providing a visitor experience that is lively, accessible, authentic and interactive. It will have the potential to transform the theatre into an artist hub in the North West and will be a major attractor of visitors to Sligo, creating a coherent experience that is innovative, authentic and transformative. It will help to strengthen the region’s strategic positioning in Irish tourism markets and will highlight the wealth of the arts and cultural activity in the county.
Renovation cannot start however until funding has been secured.
Jane Parsons, Fundraiser at the Hawk’s Well is delighted with the response to the fundraising campaign so far.
“Taking everything into account, we are 65% there which is great news! For every €1 the public donate, this will be matched by the Department so if you are donating €100 to the theatre, this will become €200,”adds Jane Parsons. “The levels for our renovation patrons scheme start at €1,000 and go up to €5,000 but we are delighted to receive any donation at all from the general public, no matter how small. In 2018 we will continue to fundraise and we will be embarking on the design stage of our renovation plans. We hope to be able to share our vision for a renewed theatre shortly.”
If you would like to support the theatre’s renovation fund please contact Jane Parsons at the Hawk’s Well Theatre at email@example.com.