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Hawk’s Well Renovation Update

Hawk’s Well Renovation Update
8 March, 2018

The Hawk’s Well Theatre are delighted to announce that they have been successful in securing €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.  Marie O’Byrne, Director of the theatre was thrilled to receive this news to kick start 2018. “We would like to thank LEADER, Sligo LEADER Partnership, Dept of Community and Rural Development, Sligo Local Community Development Committee and Sligo County Council as without their assistance, we would not be able to start renovating our backstage area which is such a vital part of the infrastructure of the theatre.”
At the start of 2017 it was announced that the theatre had been successful in securing €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. A total of €1.2 million is needed for this development which includes:
- 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.

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 €145,000 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. Eileen and Ray Monahan became renovation patrons in 2017. 
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 hosted a fundraising auction, Lots at the Well in October 2017 which raised €9,000 for the renovation fund. Businesses and individuals all over Sligo and beyond donated a fabulous selection of intriguing items from artworks to unique experiences, which went under the hammer on the night. 
The theatre’s annual Sligo Sings event also raised money for the renovation fund in 2017. This popular programme aims to get the whole of Sligo singing and has already fostered the growth of many new choirs. This uplifting event in November is a major celebration of the choirs’ achievements. The theatre hosts monthly ‘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. Sing for the hell of it evenings continue into 2018 with the next one planned for Tuesday 20th of March.
A number of artists and groups also fundraised for the renovation fund last year including local group Man in the Moon Productions who presented Shaun Purcell’s musical ‘The Raven Beckons’ for two nights on Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th of October with profits from the show going to the Hawk’s Well renovation fund. 
Popular musician Kieran Quinn’s project ‘Our Place’ also raised funds towards the renovation fund. Featuring a host of collaborating singers and musicians, an EP featuring the Six Songs for Sligo, in aid of the Hawk’s Well Renovation Fund was launched at the theatre on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th of November and copies of this EP were sold at outlets all over Sligo. Local businesses Knox, Andersons, The Glasshouse, Sisk, Mama Johnsons and Thomas Connolly’s came on board to sponsor each video. 
Liam Lawton and his band performed at the theatre on Saturday 24th of February with profits going towards the 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 64% 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 jane@hawkswell.com.

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