Theatre set for next act with bank funding


The Chatsworth Arts Centre, home of The Duchess Theatre in Long Eaton, has developed new facilities to boost visitor numbers after securing funding from NatWest.

The long-standing theatre at West Gate has used a £170,000 business loan from NatWest to extend its premises. The funding has supported a brand-new coffee bar, re-sitting of an existing bar and improved comfort facilities.

The multi-purpose arts centre is owned by Long Eaton and District Arts Council and with charity status, has been run by volunteers serving the local community with entertainment for over 30 years. The recent extension has allowed for the expansion of community events and created a significant number of opportunities to expand the volunteer base.

The Duchess Theatre was sadly destroyed by a fire in 2003. Thanks to £250,000 worth of collaborative funding involving NatWest, the Council and other contributors, the theatre re-opened its doors in September 2010.

The Arts Centre has since grown its offering, helping to promote an understanding and appreciation of the arts within the local community. Over the years, it has attracted talent such as North West-based comedian Bernie Clifton and the next two calendar years are showing signs of maximum capacity.

Mike Beedham, Chairman of Chatsworth Arts Centre, said: “Since the tragic fire in 2003, we have managed to fund the rebuilding of the Duchess Theatre with an enormous amount of support from local government, businesses such as NatWest and generous member donations.

“Thanks once again to support from NatWest as well as Derbyshire County Council and our members, we now have funding to improve and expand upon our existing facilities and open new opportunities for our increasing number of visitors.”

Andrew Atkinson, Relationship Manager at NatWest, said: “Chatsworth Arts Centre is well-loved in the Long Eaton community. Since its rebuild, the theatre has gone from strength to strength and the new facilities will make a great addition to its offering.”