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Welcome to the Sterts Relaunch Project Page

The project will replace the fragile canvas structure with a more robust steel framed building to extend our season and host a much wider range of arts, heritage and environmental events. This project is being funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and the Community Ownership Fund. 


Sterts Trustees Open Meeting 3rd March 2024

You can view the slides from the meeting by clicking the pdf link, and the notes by clicking the Word link.

Please click here to watch a video of the meeting

PRESS RELEASE 29/02/2024


Sterts Arts and Environment Centre has been a much-loved part of the arts community in SE Cornwall for decades. Founded in the 1980s by Ewart and Anne Sturrock as an open-air theatre, it gradually developed into the iconic tent structure which is so widely recognised across the South West. Sadly, having been replaced once, the second canopy suffered storm damage in 2022 that put it beyond repair.


The rebuilding of the community theatre is being funded with the help of a £200,000 investment from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth Rural Prosperity Fund, which is managed by Cornwall Council and funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.  


This will be combined with a Community Ownership Fund grant of £300,000 which Sterts were also fortunate enough to secure, allowing Sterts to replace the fragile canvas structure with a more robust steel-framed building.


Cornwall Council portfolio holder for economy, Louis Gardner said: “This well respected and much-admired community theatre space will once again be able to inspire our young people to get involved with creativity and the arts within their own locality, making culture and the connection to heritage more accessible to those who may not otherwise have the opportunity to participate.”


Sterts has long been recognised for the quality of its community productions, both original and well-known, and for its work in engaging young people in the performing arts. This new building will allow Sterts to develop the use of the site, extending the season and enabling them to host a much wider range of arts, heritage, and environmental events. As part of the re-launch that this grant has enabled, Sterts is committed to extending both the range of activities and reach by offering opportunities for the whole of our community, to the rest of Cornwall and Devon as well as visitors to our beautiful region.

For further information and interviews please email

Notes for Editors: The Good Growth Fund is part of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund which is a central pillar of the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK by investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit

PRESS RELEASE 25/09/2023


Sterts Arts and Environmental Centre have been awarded £300,000 of government “levelling up” money in recognition of its service to rural communities.


Sterts Arts and Environmental Centre, on the edge of Bodmin Moor, will use the grant to rebuild its theatre, which had to be demolished earlier this year after suffering structural damage caused by severe weather.


Announcing the Community Ownership Fund (COF) award, Jacob Young MP, Minister for Levelling Up, explained that the scheme is designed to “help save community assets at risk of loss and to empower communities to shape the things that matter most to them”.


“We are delighted that Sterts’ application has been successful,” said Mr Young. “It will help to save this treasured community asset and to support the ambitions of the community.”


The next phase of the development will be to engage a local architect to look at a wide range of options for an all-weather, year-round venue, combining state-of-the-art materials and design with exceptional environmental credentials. 


Sterts chairman, Nick Hart, praised the dedicated staff and volunteers who ensured the venue continued to function as a venue this summer, despite losing its roof, and the team who worked on the successful application to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.


“I am beyond excited,” he said. “First, my thanks to the very extended team that enabled company secretary Sarah Pym and myself to put the bid together. No email went unanswered, no request was too awkward, and although I never dared think we would get it, the combined strength of ‘Team Sterts’ shone through the whole application.”


Mr Hart added that a new, purpose-built theatre building would be more in keeping with Sterts’ rural setting. Durability, flexibility and environmental flair will be at the heart of the design, and the aim will be to spark creative imagination in audiences, practitioners, participants, and the wider community. The COF funding will also enable the charity to employ a full-time manager to realise the ambitions set out in a new five-year business plan.

Sterts Arts and Environmental Centre, situated on land previously used as a pig farm in the village of Upton Cross, near Liskeard, has been a mainstay of Cornwall’s creative scene for almost 40 years. Founded in the 1980s by school teachers Ewart and Anne Sturrock, it grew from modest ambitions into a major venue with an all-weather canopy, café and art gallery. Over the decades, the venue has welcomed an eclectic mix of professional touring theatre companies, musicians, authors, poets, dancers and visual artists.


More recently, the focus has been on youth theatre, with hundreds of young people getting their first taste of performing and tech opportunities by working on large-scale musical productions, gaining valuable professional mentoring and technical support. 


“After some very difficult times, with the pandemic and the loss of the canopy, thanks to the generous support of the government’s Community Ownership Fund all those involved in Sterts are now looking forward to a very successful future,” added Mr Hart.


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