Ludlow MP Philip Dunne has congratulated staff and volunteers at Ludlow Assembly Rooms, as Shropshire Council and the Ludlow and District Community Association (LDCA) - (the community-based charity which runs South Shropshire's arts and community centre) have signed a lease for the whole building, which will allow a £2 million project to get underway.
The project will see the Assembly Rooms grow and take over the ground floor of the iconic 19th Century building, with an entrance onto Castle Square, improved accessibility and a new lift. The ground floor will house a new Visitor Information and Box Office facility as well as a café/restaurant. The project will completely overhaul the heating, air conditioning and other services to increase the building's environmental sustainability and the comfort for its audiences.
Funding support for the project has been agreed from European Regional Development Fund, Arts Council England, Shropshire Council and Ludlow Assembly Rooms.
Mr Dunne said: "I am absolutely thrilled that after a lot of hard work by many, especially the staff and voluntary trustees over several years, the fabric of the Ludlow Assembly Rooms has been secured for the future. There have been considerable hurdles along the way, in particular in bringing together all the interested parties, to ensure different funding conditions were met. But it is great news for the whole community of Ludlow and the South Shropshire cultural scene that
Ludlow Assembly Rooms can now begin their major transformation project - and look forward to an exciting sustainable future!"
Gareth Williams, LDCA Chair said:
"It's taken a huge amount of very hard work over many years by the staff and board at the Assembly Rooms to secure the funding for this really exciting project. I am delighted that this is now starting to bear fruit. Over the next 12 months we will see a real transformation of the building, putting the Assembly Rooms even more clearly at the heart of Ludlow. We are extremely grateful to both the ERDF Programme for England and the Arts Council for the support they are providing but I also want to acknowledge the huge part played by our MP, Philip Dunne, who has helped us enormously.
We are really excited by the plans which the architects, Lyndon Goode, are developing. We will be revealing the plans in detail as the centrepiece of our 25th Anniversary celebrations over the late May Bank Holiday weekend when we will also be launching a fundraising campaign for the finishing touches."