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Six figure benefits for local economy in Regent project

Regent Theatre Board of Directors member Dewey Larratt-Smith is flanked by donors contractor Rob Richmond of Loyalist Contractors, (left) and Picton Home Hardware owner Adam Busscher at the Prince Edward County Construction Association's awards ceremony and dinner Feb. 17. Richmond and Busscher matched funds raised in the evening's silent auction for a total of $4,200 being donated to the Regent.

The Regent Theatre Picton has ensured local contractors, tradesmen and suppliers are the major beneficiaries of more than $500,000 being spent during the theatre’s current renovations.

County tradesmen showed their appreciation at the Prince Edward County Construction Association’s annual awards dinner Thursday, Feb. 17. Recognizing the residual value the renovation is bringing and will bring in the future to Prince Edward County, the association donated proceed of a silent auction to the Regent. Contractor Rob Richmond of Loyalist Contractors and Picton Home Hardware owner Adam Busscher matched the funds raised, for a total of $4,200 going to the Regent.

Dewey Larratt-Smith, Board Member of the Regent, thanked the association for its support.
“Your generosity and recognition of the role the Regent plays in this community is a wonderful encouragement to all of us working to restore this beloved theatre.”

The Regent’s renovations are on time and on budget, due in no small part to the skills and commitment of local tradesmen,” said Larratt-Smith.

The renovations presented a major challenge for the Regent. Logistics proved to be complicated, because a major grant of $240,000 was only confirmed in mid-December and it required that the project be substantially completed by April, 2011.

During this 12-week period architectural drawings were created, building permits obtained and sub-trades tendered.
“Local architect Brian Clark of Athol and general contractor Peter Knudsen of Ameliasburgh devised a procedure for awarding subcontracts based on price, ability to supply labour and materials in a timely manner, and a willingness to work with local employees and suppliers,” said Larratt-Smith.

“Over 85 per cent of the construction costs are flowing directly to enterprises owned and operated by County residents. These enterprises have hired local workers and purchased materials from local suppliers.” she said.

The major donors who have made this renovation possible and have thereby produced a significant impact on the local economy include the Parrott Foundation, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, PELA-CFDC and Canada Cultural Spaces.

The Regent’s box office will reopen in mid-March, and the theatre itself in April. A grand re-opening weekend with four days of events – many with free admission – is planned for May 5-8, 2011.

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