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Ludlow Assembly Rooms could soon benefit from a £2 million facelift
AN ambitious project to spend more than £2 million transforming Ludlow Assembly Rooms is being put together.
The scheme would see major changes and an expansion of the community and arts facility.
But the project would involve a £300,000 initial phase which is dependent on a grant from the Arts Council.
Ludlow Town Council is one of the partners backing the scheme. If successful the first phase would begin next year.
It would involve opening a cafe or restaurant on the ground floor that would be open all day, and moving the main entrance to Market Street.
The visitor information centre and box office would be combined and the facility would also serve as an interpretation centre and aims to be the first port of call for all visitors to the town.
The Assembly Rooms currently entertains 60,000 people a year, provides 50 live shows, more than 20 streamed events and shows 100 films a year, as well as providing educational activities for 25,000 people.
The ultimate plan is to make the Assembly Rooms a flagship destination for the whole of Shropshire.
If it were to go ahead the phase two element of the project that is estimated to take five years would cost more than £2 million.
It would transform the facility and in the long term it is believed that major changes to the building would reduce running costs and increase income, making for a more sustainable future.
The venue has been struggling since 2010 when Arts Council funding was lost following Government cuts.
But despite the difficulties a number of changes have been made including improvements to the heating system and the installation of a new projection system.
Three major partners have agreed to support the Assembly Rooms vision for the future: Ludlow Town Council, The Shropshire Hills Destination Partnership and Ludlow Chamber of Commerce.
The town council has also agreed in principle to continue a £15,000 contribution to the Assembly Rooms until 2016.
A long list of other partners is backing the vision including Ludlow Castle, St Laurence Church, Ludlow Museum, Ludlow Fringe Festival and Ludlow Food Festival.
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