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Community donations exceed £250 for Mayor's Charities in exchange for Connaught Studio seats

Released: Wednesday, 01 February 2017

Worthing Theatres logo (pink)

Members of Worthing's local community raised over £250 for Worthing Mayor's Charities in under four hours on Monday January 30th 2017 as they made donations for seats from Worthing's Connaught Studio, which receives new seating later this month.

34 people collected 140 seats from the cinema and theatre venue from 12pm onwards and all of the venue's seats had been collected or removed by 4pm. £265.58 has been donated to the Mayor's Charities in exchange for the seats to-date, with final donations expected later this week.

The seats were destined for a variety of new locations including an artist's studio, a caravan-based 'man cave', a home cinema, a loft conversion, a theatre-inspired hallway and Coast Café on Worthing seafront which will house 20 of the seats.

Whilst joining in and even donating to his own charities, the Mayor gave a safe home to the same two seats he occupied when visiting the Connaught.

The traditional theatrical seats were made available to the public as the need for reupholstering and spare parts for the majority of seats made them unsuitable for another venue or bulk-purchase. The seats were also not stand-alone and therefore making them auction-ready or sale-ready would have required a great amount of time and further investment.

The public collection therefore not only raised money for the mayor's chosen charities, Worthing Samaritans, Coastal West Sussex MIND and St Barnabas House Hospice, but also prevented the seats from being destroyed while simultaneously saving money for Worthing Theatres as neither additional resources nor a commercial disposal company were required.

The installation of the new fixed-tiered and removable seating system in the Connaught Studio has begun and will be complete by February 20. The installation will create a superior customer experience, with improved sight-lines from every angle and the ability to diversify use of the space - hosting everything from seated-standing to fully seated events.

The seating will be vibrantly coloured and the new layout created by the fixed tier rake will enable the installation of a new bar at the back of the auditorium, planned for phase two in 2017/2018.

Cllr Dr Heather Mercer, Executive Member for Customer Services who holds Culture in her portfolio, says:

“The savings made by the theatres through the disposal of the seats in such an innovative and community-minded way has been a delight to see. All those who made donations to the Mayor's Charities for the seats were buzzing with excitement about the projects they had planned. Now we can look forward to the arrival of the new seats and the transformation of the venue.”

Photo: Stef Sykes, of Coast Café, and Cllr Dr Heather Mercer with the final two seats from the Connaught Studio

PR17-013 - Stef Sykes, of Coast Café, and Cllr Dr Heather Mercer with the final two seats from the Connaught Studio

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