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 0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council,
Allerdale House,
CA14 3YJ

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news release


Rediscovering part of West Cumbria's musical history

12 September 2013

One of West Cumbria’s most famous music venues is about to reopen following a £220,000 refurbishment.

Monroe’s Bar at Workington’s Carnegie Theatre has been transformed into a bright contemporary venue, perfect for the management team’s plans to put the building back on Cumbria’s music circuit.

The refurbishment is part of a commitment by the building’s owners, Allerdale Borough Council, to invest in the Grade II listed building. This is phase two of the theatre’s transformation – £250,000 was spent in 2012 on the main theatre space.

The building’s large windows, which were bricked up several decades ago, have been opened up. The old doors, fixtures and fittings have been ripped out and the old stage has been replaced with a new improved version at the opposite end of the room. New LED lighting has also been installed which can be altered to change the ambience of the room, depending on whether the venue is hosting a private party or a band night, and a bespoke bar has been fitted making better use of the venue’s space.

Councillor Mark Fryer, Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive Member for Economic Growth, has been instrumental in securing the investment for the Carnegie Theatre.

He said: “It’s was a challenge to make sure the building works will be finished in time for the opening of the first show of the season, Little Shop of Horrors, on Tuesday 17 September but I am really pleased to say we’ve made it.

“When this Council was elected we pledged that we would put substantial investment into the Carnegie Theatre and we’ve made sure we delivered. Decent arts, leisure and sports facilities are hugely important and we want to make sure that they thrive – and that means we need to attract the biggest audiences possible. Working with the people who use the venue, and the Friends group, is an important part of the future of the Carnegie.

“The new season of events in the theatre has something to appeal to most tastes – and now that Monroe’s is back, brighter and better, we can start expanding our music too, and attract an even wider audience.”

Karen Thompson, Manager of the Carnegie Theatre, added: “The building is looking great. As well as transforming Monroe’s, we’ve also refurbished the entrance to the theatre, getting rid of some also old fittings, and opened it up for better access.

“But what I’m most excited about is that this about more than the renovation work. I knew Monroe’s in its heyday, and know how famous it was on the national music circuit. That’s the reputation I want to restore – as well as giving people a new and different venue for their own parties and celebrations.

“We’ll soon be announcing our new gig guide, bringing some great bands to Workington. The future is looking great for the Carnegie, and for Monroe’s.”

Tickets are on sale now for Little Shop of Horror, which runs from 17 to 21 September, courtesy of Workington and District Amateur Musical Society. Other performances this month include Ruby Turner on 26 September, as well as a musical extravaganza hosted by the Mayor of Allerdale on 28 September. Call the box office on 01900 602122 or book online.

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Contact us

0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ