THEATRE-lovers have launched a £400,000 campaign to raise funds to refurbish the outdated dressing rooms at Warminster Athenaeum.

The Athenaeum Centre is a Victorian theatre and a Grade II listed building. It was built in Jacobean style in 1858.

Behind the stage, there are three dressing rooms ranging in size. The two smaller rooms date from 1879. These are included with all auditorium and theatre hirings if required.

This area is on the ground floor and is only accessible for wheelchair users from the front of the building due to steps.

The campaign was started by former Warminster mayor, Cllr Tony Nicklin, who is urging local theatre-goers to join him in making a difference.

Mr Nicklin, who is chairman of the Warminster Athenaeum Trust, said: “I’m raising money to benefit the Athenaeum Trust and any donation will help make an impact.

“Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause which means so much to the whole community, especially our young people.

“We are in desperate need of proper child safe and secure dressing rooms in these challenging times.

“Our current large single dressing room is no longer appropriate or safe for children of all ages to come together with adults for changing into and out of their costumes.

“Young performers aged three to 16 must be segregated into three age groups for each gender in order to be allowed to take part in shows on stage.

“We now have planning permission and trying to raise over £400,000. We’ve started this fundraising and hoping to reach the level that will allow us to apply for National Lottery funding but this is a long haul up a steep hill. Please help us get there - give us a little push.”

So far, the campaign has raised more than £500 towards its initial £100,000 target.

To donate, go to