By ALANA PERSSON, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — The next phase of fundraising for the Colonial Theater renovation is well underway, as the Belknap Economic Development Council continues to solicit local businesses for financial contributions.
Since purchasing the theater in July of 2015, the BEDC has been working to secure funding for the $15 million renovation project that is due to start in January 2017, pending all monetary contributions are secured by Dec. 1.
"The common misconception is that the renovation project has already started," said Mayor Ed Engler. "But really the only work done has been basic demolition, so that now investors are able safely tour and see whether they would want to invest. We still need to acquire all the funds for the renovation to begin."
The necessary funds needed to begin the renovation are expected to come from various federal and private financial backers, as well as through the capital campaign presently being put on within the local community. The capital campaign is specifically aiming to raise the necessary $2 million community financial contribution.
"Since the start of the capital campaign, we have been received an outpouring of support from people and businesses in the Lakes Region," said Justin Slattery, Executive Director of the BEDC, adding that they are making good progress with the money that has been raised so far.
Over the past few months, the $2 million goal has been advanced by various donations from local businesses and corporations, including The Bank of New Hampshire, which donated $500,000 this past June. Additional funding from the community is still being sought to meet the Dec. 1 goal. The BEDC has high hopes that local businesses will continue to come forth and donate to the campaign.
Donations and cash pledges are extended to all members of the community, including but not limited to businesses, corporations, organizations and individual donors. As part of the donation process, the BEDC has partnered with the existing 501(c)3, Culture Arts Center of the Lakes Region, which allows all financial donations to be deemed tax deductible. Additionally, as an incentive for donating, the BEDC will offer donors a plaque in the main entrance of the theater if the contribution exceeds $500.
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