An ambitious “season” of fundraising events for Crickhowell Clarence Hall’s renovation fund is about to get underway.

The Trustees have announced two big concerts, with all proceeds going to the fund, and with another one being planned for the summer while final details are sorted. Several other organisations have pledged their support and are organising more events across the summer.

The first event, a concert by close-harmony male voice choir, Synergy, will be on Saturday, May 18th at 7.30pm.  The second, an evening with ‘Abergavenny Elvis’, Keith Davies, will be held on June 15th at 7.30pm.

Clarence Hall’s Events Trustee, Dian Winter, said: “It is fantastic that such brilliant acts as Synergy and the Abergavenny Elvis have chosen to waive all fees to raise money for Crickhowell’s Clarence Hall.  It is incredibly generous of them, and we hope people will sell out the Hall to support us.”

The Trustees are raising money to demonstrate to funding bodies, including the National Lottery, how much local people value The Clarence Hall.  It needs significant renovation works if it is to survive and £1.9m of work to turn it into an event venue “fit for the future”, including extensions to form grand entrance hall, new bar area and storage facilities.

This week, a meeting of Trustees was told that while bookings were up 40 percent year-on-year, the Hall’s condition was slowly deteriorating.  The building needs rewiring and structural work to make it suitable for people with disabilities. Also, new seating is needed, and sight-lines and changing areas need to be improved for performing arts.

Building Trustee, David Jeremiah said: “The Hall is a vital, focal point for our community and a centre for the performing arts, particularly the High School which so recently sold out four nights of their brilliant performance of Les Mis. The fact that bookings are increasing reinforces the need for action.  The building is cold, damp and showing its age.  Without major works, it will cease to function within three years.”

Mr. Jeremiah this week submitted the first funding application, for an initial £50,000 to the National Lottery development fund to help prepare for a further application for a bigger grant to start the work.  Further funding will be required to complete them. The Trustees say the planning application for extending and improving the Hall will be submitted shortly.

Chair of the Trustees, Dean Christy, said: “We are delighted with the level of support from so many and the fact that bookings are up so much demonstrates how much Crickhowell values its Clarence Hall, but it has also highlighted its problems and the pressing need to proceed with the renovation as soon as possible; now we need the town to get behind our campaign to help us save it.  We are attracting great acts, we have a strong case for grant funding and our planning application is ready to go; what we need now is for people to demonstrate their support.  Please, tell your friends about our concerts, and let’s sell them out.”

Information about how to buy tickets can be found on the Clarence Hall website or by calling Dian on 01873 811573 or Lyn on 07860-863225.