$750,000 lift for Regent Theatre

A $750,000 Otago Community Trust grant has lifted funds raised for the redevelopment of Dunedin's Regent Theatre to $1.3 million.

Otago Theatre Trust chairman Mike Shield described news of the grant after the community trust meeting this week as "just fantastic".

The theatre trust had received the full amount it sought and the grant would go a long way in reinforcing what it had been saying about the level of public support, he said.

The theatre trust has until the end of June to raise $2.1 million to ensure the Dunedin City Council commits funding for work on the $6.9 million project, due to start in October.

Mr Shield said the outcome of some applications for funding would not be known before the end of June deadline, but he was hopeful the city council would be understanding about that should the $2.1 million target not be reached by the deadline.

The trust had explained that situation to the council.

Otago Community Trust chairman Bill Thomson said the donation recognised the Regent Theatre's historical importance and value to the community.

"We're pleased to be in a position to be able to offer our support.

"The demonstrable public support for this iconic Dunedin facility was a very positive factor in reaching a decision to meet the full request," he said.

The donation also recognised the considerable effort of many volunteers and loyal staff throughout the theatre's history, he said.

He gave special mention to the annual Star Regent 24-hour Book Sale, held last weekend.

This year, it raised a record $131,987 for the project.

The redevelopment includes a new backstage counterweight and flying system to allow the theatre to stage more complex productions.

New dressing rooms, a stage, and refurbishment of the auditorium including new seating and sprinkler systems are also included.

• For full coverage of The Star's "Help Save The Regent" fundraising campaign, including donation updates, the Star Regent book sale, and the confirmed line-up for next month's Star Regent Variety Concert, see today's issue of The Star.


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