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New start for college’s Newstart Hall

Posted onPosted on 23rd Oct

Thanks to a huge fundraising campaign, the start of an innovative project to redevelop Newstart Hall at Portland College is under way.

The ambitious plans will see Newstart transformed from a tired hall into a facility for people with disabilities.

The college has already raised £1.37m towards a target of £1.65m ­— now it needs you help to reach the final goal.

Originally built in the 1950s, Newstart Hall has been the central hub of Portland College for many years with a theatre, music and performance studio, and a bar/lounge.

Now with a focus on sports and performing arts, Newstart will become a hive of activities, events and education programmes for learners, local groups and wider communities.

The development will include a multi-use sports and performance facility with a modern theatre environment and state-of-art LED glass flooring, enabling customised sport layouts at the click of the button – one of only three such floor systems in the country.

A spokesman for the college said: ”You will be able to enjoy a range of productions in the new theatre, relax and socialise in our coffee shop, join a sports, music or dance club, or enrol on to a range of education programmes.
“There really will be something for everyone to get involved in.”

There are many ways for individuals, businesses or community groups to help the college reach its target. Download a fundraising pack at to find out more.

Another way to help the appeal is to sponsor a seat in the new theatre for £250. Each seat will have a dedicated plaque from the sponsor to either promote a business, add a name or leave a lasting memory for a loved one.

Mark Dale, principal and chief executive, pledged to be the first to sponsor a seat in the theatre.

“Our highly innovative design breathes new life into a 60-year-old building and construction is well under way,” he said.

“I can’t wait to be able to sit on ‘my seat’ and watch theatre performances and see our own students and other local community groups using the state-of-the-art sports facilities.”

To find out more about how you can help, contact the fundraising team on 01623 499106 or visit