16th May 2012

Cork popping celebrations at Kendal Arts Centre

The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal has just celebrated its 40th birthday by unveiling fundraising plans to raise £80,000 towards extensive refurbishments. By improving the theatre, the Malt Room and eventually the rest of the building, it is hoped that special events throughout the year will bring in more visitors and create the extra revenue needed for the work.

Originally built as a brewery in 1847, the building has undergone some radical changes over the years. Ambitious plans for turning it into the arts centre of today were first discussed in 1969, resulting in the main building being opened to the public on May 10, 1972. There is now a theatre, cinema, gallery, cafe and bar on site. The theatre and the cinema were built in 1998 with the theatre being opened by playwright Alan Bennett. Chief executive Richard Foster said it was an exciting time: "In August there will a special Super Summer Sunday featuring the Fabulous Picasso Brothers and other local bands, and in September the celebrations centre on four art forms: visual art, music, theatre and dance, with several surprises in the pipeline: All I can say at this stage is we'll be working with international performers," offered Richard.

Other special events in the pipeline include a play by the Youth Arts team, called " It Happened at the Brewery", which will be staged on June 29th and 30th and is filled with highlights and fond memories from the forty years of Brewery productions. There will also be the unveiling of "The Timeline" which will stretch around the walls of the Intro Bar giving visitors a pictorial history of the Brewery and feature a collection of photographs illustrating past and future events, and the brewery staff.