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Theatre makes £1m energy saving investment - 15/08/2013

A theatre in the Midlands is set to save money on its business electricity bills after it made a £1 million investment in efficiency works at the location.

The Nottingham Playhouse, which marks its 50th anniversary in 2013, won the funding from Arts Council England to carry out the necessary improvements at the site.

Heating and lighting bills have been increasing rapidly at the theatre, so it will be revamping its systems to make them more efficient, while retaining the unique charm of the venue.

Entrances are set to be reconfigured to reduce heat loss through them, while 156 solar panels are to be added and the theatre will also be replacing 50-year-old light fittings which require 35,000 kw bulbs with newer, more energy efficient, models.

According to a report by the Nottingham Post, the money that is being saved as a result of the improvements is going to be reinvested into the youth theatre run by the venue. It is estimated that the upgrades to the lighting alone will result in cost savings of at least £10,000 a year.

However, the theatre still needs £75,000 to reach the total amount required to carry out all of the work needed and as a result, it has launched a public appeal.

Fundraising and development manager Nick Lawford told the newspaper that this amount can be reached easily if every visitor to the theatre gives just £1.

"The ethos of Nottingham Playhouse is that we are a theatre for everyone," explained chief executive Stephanie Sirr, who added: "Our local community is at the heart of everything we do. We need to create a legacy for our future generations of Playhouse visitors. And with a theatre that is fit for purpose, we can concentrate our efforts, energy and resources on providing quality performances for them."

Energy saving methods at Cockermouth School recently led to it being handed a major award for its use of thermal heat, a wind turbine and photovoltaic panels.

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