Public meeting over plans to turn register office into theatre

First published in Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

A PUBLIC meeting will take place tomorrow night (Wednesday, November 7) over plans to create a permanent home for a theatre company for learning disabled adults.

Tony Galuidi, the manager of Earthbeat Theatre Company, is hoping to rally support for his attempt to acquire the former Guisborough Register Office and transform it into a theatre that can also be used to host community events.

The Register Office is being sold by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council as part of an £18m sell-off of assets it no longer needs.

Mr Galuidi is hoping the council will give him the building for free via a Community Asset Transfer, which allows the community to take over a building they believe is vital or of use if there is enough public support for the idea.

Mr Galuidi, who set up Earthbeat 22 years ago, believes a theatre would be an asset to the local community and would provide a much-needed permanent home for his company, which has more than 80 performers on its books.

He said: “Times are tough and we’re concerned that the council will sell the building to the highest bidder. If we’re to succeed, then we’ll need the support of local people.

"The theatre could be an amazing asset for Guisborough. Not only will it enhance Guisborough as a tourist destination but it will also provide dance and drama related activities for young people, an alternative social activity for local residents and, of course, there’s the ‘feelgood factor’ that a new community building brings."

If the group is successful in acquiring the building, members will need to raise at least £400,000 in order to renovate it.

They have already raised a large share of that amount and hope to generate further funding by applying for grants and holding further fundraising events and shows.

The public meeting will be held at Sunnyfield House on Wednesday November 7 from 7.30pm.

There will be chance to share views and opinions as well as sign a petition in support of the project. The petition can also be signed at:

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