The Edge theatre in Chorlton has opened its new café to the public following a community refurbishment project led by two Manchester construction trainees.

Following installation of new windows, lighting, furniture and flooring – as well as the creation of a server counter – the theatre unveiled the new ‘Dressing Room’ café at an event attended by patron Julie Hesmondhalgh.

The two-week refurbishment project saw graduate project manager, Adam Duigenan and trainee project manager, Dan Lomas, from integrated property support services and project delivery specialist Styles&Wood, lead a team of volunteers to convert the former Sunday School classroom into the stunning new cafe at the popular theatre.

The project is part of property group Styles&Wood’s ‘Big Challenge’ initiative which sees the company and its local supply chain donate a top quality refurbishment to a community project free of charge.

The new café will now also act as a training facility, providing adults with learning disabilities hands-on experience of catering and hospitality services.

Launched in 2011, The Edge provides high quality arts projects for some of Manchester’s most vulnerable communities and a range of classes and courses for local children and adults, while presenting some of the best small scale professional theatre from around the country.

Janine Waters, Artistic Director at the Edge, said, “It’s been a wonderful experience working with the team from Styles&Wood, benefitting from their skills, their experience and their generosity. Arts charities like ours benefit enormously from these kind of relationships, enabling us to achieve results that otherwise we could only dream of.”

“Our learning disabled adults will be able to train in an environment that they can be proud of and our customers can enjoy a facility that is second to none.”

Dan Lomas, trainee project manager at Styles&Wood, said: “Managing my first full refurbishment project independently was a brilliant experience and it was all the more rewarding to be able to do it while supporting such a great community organisation.”

Adam Duigenan, graduate project manager, said: “The entire team was committed to delivering a really high quality refurbishment for the theatre and we’re delighted with the really positive reaction the completed space is getting.”

Karen Morley, HR Director, Styles&Wood added, “On behalf of the Board at Styles&Wood we would like to thank everyone for their generosity and time given to this fantastic project. A special thanks go to our subcontractors: Imtech, Sandoms, CNM, Image, iFloor, Contract Tile Consultants and Geometrics.”


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