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Covid-19: Crowdfunding appeal for Cheltenham theatre

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image captionTheatre bosses said they "didn't get anything at all" from the Culture Recovery Fund

A £100,000 crowdfunding appeal has been set up after a theatre failed to get a share of a £1.57bn government handout.

The Cheltenham Playhouse Theatre had applied for £50,000 in funding to help it through the coronavirus pandemic but said it "didn't get anything at all".

Photographer James Fear, who set up the GoFundMe, said he decided to "shoot for the stars" with his £100,000 target but the response has been "mind-blowing".

The theatre said "any income coming in is fantastic and we're grateful".

Mr Fear, a local wedding photographer, said everyone in the arts was worried and "suffering massively".

"The theatre is an important thing for our town and they didn't get the money - they were overlooked - so I decided to shoot for the stars and double the amount and raise £100,000," he said.

"I'm hoping it snowballs."

Over the last two days, the GoFundMe page has raised £5,815.

image captionA GoFundMe page has raised nearly £6,000 in two days for the theatre

Rob Gill, from the theatre, said the funding from the Culture Recovery Fund was to keep it "going over the next few months".

"It was a real kick in the teeth when we heard that we didn't get anything at all," he said.

"We obviously had to shut down six months ago and with no income streams we've already started eating in to our reserves."

He said they have been "absolutely overwhelmed" by the public's support but the theatre should not have to "rely on the kindness and generosity of people on social media".

"We feel we deserve proper support," he said.

"We're hoping we can follow some official channels and find out what happened, where we went wrong and how we can get that level of support and funding to keep us going."

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