This project is a resubmission (with additions ) to that submitted just over a year ago (Setting the Stage For Local Talent) and which could not be completed due to the premises being used for childcare provision for the children of NHS staff during the Covid 19 pandemic. The funding previously received from the IAM Fund has been used on an alternative project as was agreed at the time the initial grant was awarded.
This project seeks to improve the experience of local young people and inspire them to further involvement and participation in performing arts projects by improving the stage area to a standard commensurate with their needs.This project seeks to improve the experience of young people wishing to participate in the many activities available in the Civic Hall, Cottingham in particular those stage based performances. There is increasing interest in the facility for the performance of dance, choir and musical theatre yet the current facility does not meet modern standards of quality and safety. By improving the stage facilities we aim to maximise the opportunity for inspiring young people into the performing arts. It is intended to increase the learning opportunity for children by increasing the number of workshops on offer and it is hoped that those "bitten by the bug" will continue to perform both with local groups.
Installation of Rigid Steel Joists to above stage to facilitate improved lighting, demolition of wing area rooms to enable easier movement of performers and "set" to stage replacement of old curtaining to stage area in order to improve the safety and experience of performers and production and support staff.
Examination of the dressing room areas has highlighted the need for improvements here also, the toilets and washbasins are starting to crack and leak. In addition the external fire doors are damaged and provide both a safe and security risk and need replacing.
This is to bring the facility up to modern standards and enable us to improve the overall experience of enjoying the Performing Arts
The Cottingham Village Trust is about to enter its 3rd year of operation of the Civic Hall and former Council Offices in the heart of this large community.
Despite the trials which the past year has thrown our way, the Trust has coped extremely well with the challenge, having maintained a strong financial base throughout.
The loss of more than 75% of rental income and more than 95% of bar profits necessitated the postponement of some of the planned improvements to the facilities during 2020 although essential work to maintain the fabric of the building and meet legal obligations to the electrical and mechanical services was able to carry on unhindered by leaning on cash reserves from the previous 2 years successes.
We now have an opportunity to carry out the improvements to the stage area without disruption to our normal operation as the building is ( to all intents and purposes ) closed during this lockdown period, the permitted hosting of Blood Collection Services on behalf of the NHS, being the only ongoing activityOver two years ago, the Cottingham Village Trust began negotiations to save the Cottingham Civic Hall from becoming a derelict unloved building, reaching agreement in March 2017. it is now in the hands and at the heart of the local community for all ages to enjoy, creating the space and facilities for many community-led activity groups, most of which are performance groups
Performance groups we have supported in the recent past include;
Hull Musical Theatre Company
Park Street Performing Arts
One Off Productions
Hull Ladies Choir
Beverley Musical Theatre
East Riding Youth Orchestra
Beauchamp Dance Academy
Cottingham Folk Festival
Cottingham Springboard (2017)
In a "normal " year the Civic Hall would host more than 40 live music events, indeed, there are 37 such events diarised for the latter part of this year should restrictions ease. These create a platform for local talent as well as international artists to inspire children and young people. We have learned what our community enjoys and we have helped LOCAL performers to engage over 3,000 over the 2 years we were able to function normally !
The hall provides an amazing experience for the local community, either as a performer, production team or member of the audience. Our hopes for the future is to support more youth-led performances and offer summer clubs for under 14’s. However our stage facilities require an upgrade to ensure our structured learning programmes and performances inspire, as well as being accessible for children and young people.
Due to the age of the building and the structure of the hall, the stage area requires a re-design that will allow modern lighting and sound fixtures. To host more creative performances our curtain rigging also requires an upgrade; these improvements will not only give a better audience experience but creates a safer and more accessible learning environment for our young production trainees.
During the 2018 summer holiday period, the Trust planned and organised a series of events aimed at children of Primary school age. On offer were lessons in learning a musical instrument (Ukulele ) and learning and performing a "play in a day", an extract from the most recent incarnation of "Mary Poppins", which was run by teaching staff from Stagecoach Performing Arts. The success of these sessions has confirmed our desire to expand our future offering to those in their early teenage years.
When Beverley Musical Theatre was looking to recruit 48 "Munchkins" for its production of "The Wizard of Oz", it used the Civic Hall as the open audition venue, conducting music and dance workshops for over 160 local children and was able to select a complete rota. The production, performed at Hull's New Theatre in June 2018, was both a critical and financial success and many of those "Munchkins" have continued to train and perform in musical theatre roles, 14 of this rota being selected for the pantomime "Snow White" at Christmas that same year.
Funding will help us to install permanent structures that can safely hold lighting system, is easily operated with minimum technical experience; ideal for school children wanting to experience sound and light engineering and/or theatre production skills.
We would also welcome the opportunity to meet the I Am Fund committee and present our ambitious plans to ensure the Cottingham Civic Hall provides a sustainable legacy for inspiring local performers.
Reg Number: 06455490 | Charity Number: 1125856