Video: Campaign to save Salford Victoria Theatre
A FACEBOOK group has
attracted almost 2,000 members to help save a Victorian Grade II listed theatre
Salford Victoria Theatre on Great Clowes Street in Lower Broughton has been confirmed as one of 49 theatres at risk in the UK.
The venue is currently up for sale, inviting offers in the region of £275,000.
David Dewsnip, a production technician at the University of Salford, has started a campaign to save the building from being sold to developers.
Mr Dewsnip and his colleague, Mark Creamer, are leading the campaign as a community-based project, seeking people of all talents or those wishing to develop new skills by helping to save and re-open the theatre.
The theatre was first opened in 1900 by historic actor Sir Henry Irving. It was a cinema for many years until 1973 when it became a bingo hall until its closure in 2008.
Salford historian and writer Tony Flynn said: “It’s one of Salford’s hidden gems, many people will pass it not realising it’s there. It’s wonderful and it has got to be saved.”
The venue has fallen into disrepair with restoration costs estimated at over £1million.
Added Mr Flynn: “Vandals have been in, they’ve stripped the metal work out, slates are missing from the roof, many of the chairs have been taken, I’m assuming for scrap metal purposes.”
Despite this, the community remain positive about the campaign, drawing hope from the success of the recently saved 1262-seat Tameside Hippodrome in Ashton-under-Lyne.
Keith Dalby-Oldham, Chair of Tameside Heritage and Arts Trust said: “David and I had a meeting last week to pool our resources and contacts, share experiences, ideas, and knowledge.
“We also discussed how our respective theatres will integrate not only with each other but within the Greater Manchester arts scene as a whole.”
The campaign’s first meeting to save Salford Victoria is on Wednesday August 1 at 7:00pm, in the Robert Powell Theatre, Allerton Building, University of Salford.
By Zarrion Walker
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