Little Theatre has big plans to renovate their facility

MEMBER for Monaro John Barilaro is ready to fight for much-needed renovation funds for the Cooma Little Theatre.

Mr Barilaro engaged in a discussion about renovations with theatre group committee members last week.

The theatre requires $135,000 for new toilets and $18,000 for new storerooms.

At the very least, an alternative plan is estimated at $30,000.

Without funding for renovations, Little Theatre committee members fear they may be forced to it shut down.

"It would be impossible to raise the money ourselves," Stuart Burge, Vice President of the committee, said.

Mr Barilaro replied: "Imagine how many sausage sizzles and raffles you'd need to run".

Jokes aside, Mr Barilaro is hopeful the funding will be approved.

"I will argue that council has asked them to develop a disabled toilet, that other community groups use the space, and that it's the only theatre of its kind in the area," he said.

This is the first time the theatre group has asked for government funding.

Over the past 60 years, they have paid for repairs with revenue generated from ticket sales and venue hire.

Mr Barilaro is using every strategy in the book to secure the funding.

"Waiting for a grant could be a long process, so I'll lodge a request with a few of the ministers instead," Mr Barilaro said.

The theatre is also in desperate need of a new electrical system.

"We didn't price the electrical repairs, but we've had a sparky come in and tell us the cost would scare us beyond belief," Geoff Simpson, theatre licensee, said.

"We will fight for the toilet block and storerooms at this stage, and find funding for the electrical work next," Mr Barilaro said.

The Cooma Little Theatre committee hopes the theatre will continue to be a vital part of the community for many years to come.

They produce four plays each year and are looking forward to opening night of their latest production, Caught In The Net.

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