Monty Python's Terry Jones' joy at Theatr Colwyn revamp

image captionThe Victorian Theatr Colwyn first opened in 1888

Wales' oldest operating theatre - Theatr Colwyn in Colwyn Bay - is to undergo a major facelift after receiving £750.000.

Actor Terry Jones of Monty Python fame, who is from the town, said he was "so happy" to hear of the funding.

The project has won £500,000 Welsh Assembly Government funding, and Conwy council is providing match funding.

Work on redeveloping the 125-year-old council-run venue will start shortly.

Jones visited in April to launch a charity appeal for the theatre's Friends group.

He said: "Thank you to the Welsh Assembly Government for recognising the importance to my home town of Theatr Colwyn.

"This is a great step forward for the community. I hope the restored theatre will be bringing excitement and fun to the town for years to come."

Theatr Colwyn also houses the oldest operating cinema in the UK

The front-of-house redevelopment will see the upstairs bar moved to the foyer, a new box office, office space, a community room and disabled access to all floors.

The theatre will be closed until next spring while work is carried out.

Phil Batty, manager of Theatr Colwyn, said it was a "very exciting time".

"Theatr Colwyn has been at the heart of Colwyn Bay since it first opened as a venue in 1888 and our long-term aim is continue redevelopment work until we are at the stage when we can accommodate larger productions and offer more to our loyal audience.

"A very big thank you to everyone who has helped us to get here."

Sarah Ecob, the general manager, said: "The redevelopment of Theatr Colwyn has been planned for many years and it is terrific that we have finally reached the stage where we can set a date for the project to begin.

"As custodians of this charming and much-loved Victorian venue we are very much looking forward to giving the building the care and attention it needs and to bringing the Front of House facilities up-to-date to meet the needs of our customers.

She added: "Fundraising continues to allow us to achieve the full scope of the project that will, eventually, include the rear of house facilities. We would like to thank everyone who has donated so generously to date."

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