Theatre volunteers celebrate first phase in warming up the audience

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A new water driven heating system has been installed at the Sharnbrook Mill Theatre as fundraising reaches the £130,000 mark.

The Sharnbrook Mill Theatre Trust has been raising the funds for three years and work has finally finished on the system which uses water from the mill stream.

The theatre group started on a £300,000 fundraising project in 2013 to install a green energy-based heating and ventilation system in the theatre that was once a fully working water-powered flour mill, which dates back to 1703. However, it gets too cold in winter and too hot in the summer so the ‘Warm Up’ appeal started.

It is the first time the company who installed the unit, Daystar and SDG, have ever worked in a mill, and the job was helped along by a team of volunteers who removed all the theatre seats, as the heating pipes are underneath.

A celebration of the completion of phase 1 is being marked with a special performance on November 12 by Sara Spade - the Ukulele Lady - and the Noisy Boys. The High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and trust president President Charles Whitbread, will attend and there will be a short presentation about the project.

Tickets are £15 and include food and a glass of bubbly.

Fundraising still needs to be undertaken as £30,000 needs to be raised so phase 2 can go ahead, to expand the heating system to the rest of the theatre.

Phase 3 is set to cost £60,000 for the ventilation system, to cool the theatre down on hot days.

All information is at www.sharnbrookmilltheatre.co.uk