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By ABIGAIL NANCE Jersey Opera House.


Refurbishment raises curtain on anexciting future forthe Opera House


Jersey Opera House’s £1 million refurbishment project has finished on time and on budget.


The programme, which was only possible due to fiscal stimulus funding granted by the States of Jersey, started in April 2011. Five months later, the theatre has a revamped cafébar, a new performance and rehearsal studio, a renovated upper bar and new administration offices. The funding has helped secure the long-term future of the publicly-owned building. It’s intended that the redevelopment works will allow the Opera House to diversify its operations and consequently increase its income generation.


Theatre Director, Jasmine Hendry is elated with the end results: “We couldn’t have


hoped for better. The performance studio in particular is just fabulous. This versatile space can be used for dance and drama classes and workshops. We intend to establish children’s theatre groups and host small- scale performances. We will now also be able to offer corporate hospitality and ‘away days’. As we are a creative organisation, it would be wonderful for the building to become more ‘alive’ during the day and for everyone to take advantage of our great new facilities.“


Jersey Opera House Board Chairman, Pierre Horsfall CBE said: “The Fiscal Stimulus Fund was set up by the States of Jersey to help the local economy and provide employment for local craftsmen. Allocating the funds to this project has done exactly that and also enhanced the Opera House, its long-term future and viability. The bonus is that the money has been spent on a building which belongs to the public and which is used by the public. Without the Treasury’s foresight, this would not have been possible”.


Page 86 Going Out


The Performance Studio/ Event Space The most significant addition to the new JOH facilities is the performance studio which brings to life a derelict area of the building, which had been dormant for more than ten years. Formerly used by the British European Airways Social Club, it now boasts a beautiful wooden sprung dance floor and a large mirrored wall which means the studio is now perfect for dance classes and workshops. The intention behind this multifunctional room is to increase the theatre’s offerings and revenue potential through corporate and performance hire.


With a seating capacity of up to 80 people, the Opera House will now be able to present small- scale professional touring shows. In addition the new studio will be available for hire by the local community and companies.


It is


fully-accessible for customers who are wheelchair users.


OH! Cafébar Now boasting a bigger and better equipped kitchen, the newly rebranded and refurbished OH!


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