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Heritage Lottery Fund Support

Posted: Thursday 7th June

Heritage Lottery Fund Support

Penistone Cinema Organ Trust – “The Astoria Project” wins Heritage Lottery Fund support.

The Penistone Cinema Organ Trust are thrilled to have been awarded a £50,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting new project to restore and install an Art-Deco Compton Cinema Pipe Organ into a dedicated Cinema Organ Heritage and Restoration Centre in Barnsley. Led by volunteers of The Penistone Cinema Organ Trust, “The Astoria Project” will offer an immediate number of volunteer opportunities to learn a wide range of traditional skills in cinema organ restoration & installation, its history and music. The restoration & installation of the 1934 Compton Organ, (which contains over 1,000 pipes) will take around 12 months and when completed, an exciting programme of public events will commence. Links with education in the area, will offer a new generation the opportunity to learn about the musical heritage of the Cinema Organ and the important part it played in early cinema development, together with the use of the instrument in the 21st Century.

Fiona Spiers, Head of HLF Yorkshire and the Humber said – “The Astoria project will help conserve a wonderful piece of cinema organ history and open the experience of early cinema going to new audiences. By training volunteers in traditional restoration skills this project will help to support the heritage sector into the future.”

Penistone Cinema Organ Trust Chairman, Kevin Grunill said – “We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has recognised the work the Penistone Cinema Organ Trust are doing to preserve these magnificent instruments through the provision of this grant. The Trust recognised the need for a Cinema Organ Heritage and Restoration Centre a number of years ago in order to preserve and present these instruments in an accessible location, where they can be used for a wide range of events and activities. The Heritage Lottery Fund grant will enable visitors to learn about the history of the Cinema Organ and enjoy the music and varied sounds that can be produced from an instrument of this nature. By restoring parts of these instruments in our own workshops, we will be able to pass on traditional restoration skills to other groups or individuals”.

The Penistone Cinema Organ Trust is a non-profit volunteer group that are responsible for the Compton Cinema Organ installed at the Penistone Paramount in South Yorkshire. Cinema organ concerts are presented by the Trust on a monthly basis at the Penistone Paramount, together with weekly concerts on Thursday lunchtimes, featuring the UK's only Allen 317EX Digital Theatre Organ at St Andrew’s Church in Penistone. The Penistone Cinema Organ Trust is funded by donations, grants and fundraising organ concerts. Further details about the Penistone Cinema Organ Trust and our activities can be found on their website.

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