THE Plaza Theatre in Romsey has received thousands of pounds for a new stairlift.

The theatre has been trying to raise funds after the lift broke, and Theatres Trust has stepped in to give £5,000 for a replacement.

The home of Romsey Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, it first opened in 1931 and has been home to RAODS since 1982.

Despite it's long history, the theatre had been attempting to fix a stair lift for a number of months.

Tom Stickland, adviser at the Theatres Trust said: "It is with great pleasure that we are awarding a grant to The Plaza Theatre Romsey to replace its stair lift, making this community theatre accessible once again."

The award is made as part of the UK Small Grants Scheme, which in this round of funding is giving a total of £22,500 to five theatres to address urgent building works and improvements.

Launched in April 20120l, this scheme awards grants of up to £5,000 to theatres across the UK and receives support from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, and Charles Michael Holloway Charitable Trust.

Jon Morgan, director of Theatres Trust said: "Theatres large and small need support to keep their buildings operational. Thanks to our funders we can help keep these theatres open, their audiences comfortable and the performances accessible."

First opening in 1931 as a cinema, the theatre has a long and diverse history.

In the 1970s use of the cinema ceased, and it then became a bingo hall.

Finally, it closed down ten years later.

RAODS acquired the freehold in 1982 and began converting it to a theatre, which they still call their home today.

Theatres Trust is the national advisor public body for theatres around the UK.

No date has yet been given for when the lift project will be completed.

The next event at the theatre is an evening of mediumship on the 22nd of September.