Dance Mania, March Operatics and Anglian Players join forces to try and get funding to improve community centre

St George's Fayre, March. Dance Mania performing to a large crowd. Picture: Steve Williams.

St George's Fayre, March. Dance Mania performing to a large crowd. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Three performing groups are trying to secure funding to improve facilities at the town’s community centre.

Dance Mania, March Operatics and the Anglian Players will apply for funding from the Arts Council to pay for the stage to be repaired and new lighting and sound systems at March Community Centre.

Dance Mania has more than 200 dancers of all ages who perform two or three shows a year at the venue.

Lisa Dickinson, who runs Dance Mania, said: “It is the only building in the town that has a proper stage and even that is not really very good.

“The flooring is full of splinters which limits what we can do in terms of performing.

“Every time we put on a show we have to pay out for light and sound equipment because what is at the centre is so antiquated and not really up to the job.

“I know there is funding available for the arts so I would like to see some of that money come to March to improve the community education centre stage area, not just for me and my dancers but for the other groups that use it – March Operatics and the Anglian Players.”

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Francis Pepper, chairman of March Operatics, added: “The stage is not big enough to put on a big show because there is no room in the wings and the stage floor is in a woeful state.

“The lighting is so antiquated, I think it has been there almost since the building was built, so we have to hire sound and lighting and it costs £500 or £600 to do that.”

Alan Hooks, chairman of The Anglian Players, said a new stage curtain was needed.

In their bid to get the funding, the groups have approached MP Steve Barclay.

He said: “Dance Mania, March Operatics and Anglian Players are enormously valued community groups which do a fantastic job in March.

“I am determined to ensure that they get a fairer share of the money available and I am working with them to submit a bid to the Arts Council so that future productions are able to benefit from up to date sound and lighting equipment, which will have a clear community benefit.”

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