Arts and Culture

Wigan Old Courts Theatre needs to raise £90,000 as celebrities rally to support 

Theatre and music venue the Old Courts in Wigan is raising funds for structural damage caused by poor construction work.

With an estimated cost of £100,000 the Old Courts’ insurance company has declined to cover any costs, believing the fault lies with negligent construction work rather than accidental damage.

Fundraising efforts to date have raised less than £10,000 and the venue has set a deadline of 24th June to meet their target.

Megan Ball, Senior Digital Marketing & Communications Manager for The Old Courts said: “Over the years our venue has served as a hub for creativity, entertainment and community engagement.

“We need to save and reinstate the venue to once again provide memorable, valuable nights of culture for Wigan and to protect the future of The Old Courts for generations to come.”

While the theatre pursues the construction company responsible for the damage in court, they are yet to receive any reimbursement towards repairing the building and claim they have suffered significant financial losses.

The campaign is being run on an “all or nothing” basis meaning all donations would be refunded to the donors and the rewards promised will not be honoured if the total of £100,000 isn’t raised.

Rewards include art prints, t-shirts and event tickets as although the Grand Vault and accompanying theatre space are closed, other parts of the venue remain open.

Currently there is no indication of how long the court process will take or if the theatre will be successful in its claim.

Famous names such as John Cooper Clarke, Sir Ian McKellen, Shaun Ryder, and band Wheatus have graced the stage of the Old Courts in years gone by with local legends The Lathums joining the current fundraising efforts.

The Lathums are hosting an after party following their performance at Wigan’s Robin Park Arena on Friday 19th July but ticket sales will have to reach the Old Courts before 24th June to count towards repair works.

Supporters of the crowdfunder will also have the chance to win a signed record of their latest EP From Nothing To a Little Bit More.

Frank Turner, English punk and folk singer has also shown his support and shared the fundraiser with his fans.

The venue also supports local resident groups by providing space for workshops and hopes to continue to do so.

The Old Courts is currently home to Wigan Autistic Theatre Company, Directions for Men, Age UK’s Over 50 Jammers, a Youth Choir and an Abstinence Group.

The crowdfunder page currently has 308 supporters and can be found here.

Photos courtesy of Wigan Old Courts

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