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Opera House Gets £11.5m Restoration

Jersey’s Opera House will get a full restoration if States Members agree to allocate £11.5m to the theatre.

The government has announced a two year funding package.

It would cover not only the emergency repairs that have forced the closure of the historic theatre, but a full restoration. 

The government says it will ‘ensure it remains open as Jersey’s flagship theatre for years to come.’

The Opera House closed during the first Covid lockdown in March 2020. 

It did not reopen when social distancing restrictions eventually lifted because of health and safety concerns - not with the pandemic, but the state of the building. 

Since then, theatre groups and amateur dramatics clubs have repeatedly called on the government to take the necessary action for the return of performances and audiences to be possible. 

£2.2m was awarded from the Fiscal Stimulus Find set up to provide an economic boost following the pandemic.

In February of this year it was revealed the reopening date had been pushed back a year, to June 2023. 

Economic Development Minister Deputy Kirsten Morel says when the building reopens it will be safe and for purpose.

“I am so pleased that my colleagues on the Council of Ministers share my commitment to the arts and the Opera House and have demonstrated this with this new and much needed investment."

No timescale has been given yet for the work’s completion, and the States Assembly will have to approve the funding allocation first.

The government says it will work with Opera House Board to find alternative venues for performances and events until ‘curtain up’ on the theatre.

Pierre Horsfall, who chairs the Jersey Opera House Board has welcomed the announcement;

“The Opera House is a much-loved venue not only in the performing arts community but for all islanders. A great deal of work has been happening behind the scenes to reach this point and I am delighted to see the government commit to providing this much needed funding.”

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