Funky Studios are a class act

August 18, 2014 12:32 pm

Funky Studios

An exciting new local performing arts school is set to launch, following a massive refurbishment of the Old Central Hall on Toothill Lane in Mansfield.

‘Funky Studios’ is the brainchild of actress Katie Funk, who with the help of Mansfield District Council has achieved her dream of creating her own drama school.

Katie had been looking for premises for some time in Mansfield, when she came across the Old Central Hall, a crumbling semi-derelict building, which for the past seven years had been used by Mansfield District Council as a mess and storage facility.

With the added benefit of a Property Cash Back Grant of £1,000 and a Business Crime Reduction Grant of £2,387 from the Council, Katie and her husband Robert were able to use their savings to rescue the building from demolition and turn it into a state-of-the-art facility for aspiring young actors and performers.

Katie said: “When I saw this building, my heart was in it immediately, even though the premises were in a very bad state and there were trees growing through the walls. The Council was considering knocking it down, but I could see its potential.

“Mansfield District Council has been right behind us from the start, giving us a year rent free, which enabled us to invest in the refurbishment of the building. We repaired the roof, put in a new heating and lighting system, as well as new windows and doors. We converted what was one very large space into two studios, boys and girls changing rooms, a reception area, office and kitchen.

“My husband Rob and I are extremely grateful to all the Council officers, who have helped us along the way and made grants available to us. All my students are so incredibly excited to have their own place and are looking forward to moving in this September. Funky Studios is all about delivering quality training to help students achieve their goals and move into the industry of Performing Arts.”

Funky Studios will have its official opening on Sunday 7 September 2014 from 11am to 2pm. The studio will also be launching its Intensive Drama School Prep (IDSP) course – a one year programme for people aged 17 and over, designed to give people skills in dance, singing and acting in preparation for applying to drama school.

Cllr Kate Allsop, Portfolio Holder for Economic Regeneration said: “We are delighted to have been of assistance to Katie Funk and her husband Rob in helping them to achieve their dream of setting up their own studio in their home town. I would like to congratulate them on refurbishing the building to a very high standard and giving these premises a new lease of life.

“There are many ways in which the Council can assist people to start or relocate their business, including help in finding the right premises, as well as linking to appropriate business support services and grants. I would encourage people to get in touch with the Ashfield and Mansfield Regeneration Service to find out what is on offer.”

The Property Cash Back Grant scheme used by Katie and Rob is one of the services available to businesses looking to rent a commercial property from Mansfield District Council. For details of available commercial premises, including those owned by the Council, visit Invest Ashfield & Mansfield.

If you would like guidance in starting a business or developing an existing one, please contact Paul Topliss on 01623 463813.

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