£98,000 Disbursed (2000)
£182,000 Disbursed (2004)
£101,231 Disbursed (2013)
The theatre was one of thirteen designed and built across East Anglia by David Fisher, serving the circuit of Fisher’s company in 1828. Touring theatres were badly affected by the coming of the railways and in 1844 the Bungay theatre was sold. For most of the 19th century it was the town’s Corn Hall and a venue for meetings. Later it became Bungay’s first cinema and was used for a variety of entertainments and commercial enterprises, including a steam laundry for many years, and ending the 20th century
as a textile warehouse.
Bungay Arts and Theatre Society was formed in 1995 by five local residents convinced that the town needed an Arts Centre, and that to establish one would also help regenerate its ancient market town. After much fundraising, including a loan from the AHF of £98,000, the old Georgian theatre building was bought in 2001 and plans to transform a very dilapidated historic shell into a high-tech centre for all arts began. A further AHF loan of £182,000 was provided for working capital to enable The Fisher Theatre to finally open its big blue doors in September 2006.
Following consolidation of the loans in 2013, the theatre led a crowd funding campaign, which included high-profile contributions, and a grant from Power to Change, and has repaid a significant proportion of its loan, enabling the community to take full ownership of the theatre.