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Sterts bags 'Levelling Up' funding to rebuild theatre

An exciting year lies ahead for Sterts Theatre and Arts Centre at Upton Cross, with £300,000 of the

government’s Levelling Up Fund set to help improve their performance facilities.

Along with additional funding, the Levelling Up grant will plunge Sterts into an extensive project to build a brand new and improved theatre, boosting the visitor experience.

Volunteer centre director Peter Woodward explained: “The Levelling Up Fund is all about developing communities. We are an important part of the community but there’s also a wider community that we serve as well, pulling people in from a long way across Cornwall and Devon.”

The building work will commence in the spring with hopes of it being completed in the autumn. Sterts will remain open throughout the works, and will have a weatherproof theatre for the summer season. By 2025, visitors to Sterts, performers, staff members and volunteers will have a fantastic new theatre to create art, perform and showcase their talents.

There are hopes that further funding and opportunities will land on Sterts’ doorstep in the

future. Peter said: “This will open doors for us; this is access money. We are hopeful there will be other funding on the back of this.”

After a tricky few years navigating the changes in the arts world on the back of Covid, and operating as an ‘open air theatre’ during social distancing restrictions, the team at Sterts were feeling uncertain of their future less than a year ago. But with funds secured, a new project soon to get underway and plenty of shows and performances to look forward to, the future is looking bright for this community-

driven theatre company.

In addition to their performance work, Sterts hosts a pupil referral unit, providing their facilities for up to three months for children from Plymouth to Bodmin who are not in school for a variety of reasons. They regularly go into schools that do not offer theatre studies as an option, to offer an insight into performing arts.

Peter added: “Theatre has always been vital; it provides confidence, community and friendship. For some people, it is central to their way of life.”

For more information about Sterts, the new theatre project or booking tickets to their shows, visit, where you can also sign up for their monthly email newsletter for updates on the progress of the project.


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