Photo (left to right): Mayor Ed Engler, Gracie Cilley, VP and Commercial Loan Officer for MVSB, Justin Slattery, BEDC Executive Director, Rick Wyman, MVSB President , and Randy Eiffert, BEDC Chairperson.
Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB) has committed to a $350,000 donation to the Belknap Economic Development Council (Belknap EDC) for the Colonial Theater Redevelopment Project in Laconia. The Bank’s investment is a significant contribution to the renovation of the Colonial Theatre and its transformation into a civic auditorium.
$200,000 of the donation is through the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority’s (CDFA) tax credit program.
Located at 609 Main Street in the heart of downtown Laconia, the Colonial Theater has long been of great interest to city and business leaders. “We are thankful to the Belknap EDC and the local leadership who are committed to the hard work of rehabilitating a once beautiful theater back to its former glory,” said Rick Wyman, President of Meredith Village Savings Bank. “Having a civic auditorium in the heart of downtown Laconia will continue to spur people to live, work and play in the Lakes Region.”
The Colonial Theater has entered its first phase of rehabilitation, beginning with the demolition of a movie cinema partition that was installed in the 1980’s, though the theater had once hosted circuses and vaudeville acts when it first opened in 1914. The movie theater has since closed in the early 2000’s. The project will turn the 102-year structure into a civic auditorium.
“We’re so thankful for the generous contribution of Meredith Village Savings Bank,” said Justin Slattery, Executive Director of the Belknap EDC. “This is a major investment in both the theater’s and city’s redevelopment initiatives. Our goal is to eventually fill the entire space with businesses and services that complement its’ role as a civic auditorium.” The renovation consists of rehabilitating 38,000 square feet of space, which includes a 20,000 square-foot theater, as well as commercial and residential spaces in front of the building.
Belknap EDC was founded in 1992 with the mission of promoting economic vitality in Belknap County and the Greater Lakes Region. One of ten non-profit regional development corporations in New Hampshire, Belknap EDC aims to attract and retain young talent, support creative entrepreneurs, enhance workforce development programs and be a pro-active catalyst, partner and investor in property development that enhances economic opportunity in Belknap County. For more information, visit belknapedc.org.
For nearly 150 years, Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB) has been serving the people, businesses, non-profits and municipalities of Central NH. MVSB and its employees are guided by the values of accountability, mutuality, excellence, respect, integrity, teamwork and stewardship. To learn more, visit any of the local branch offices located in Alton, Ashland, Center Harbor, Gilford, North Hampton, Laconia, Meredith, Moultonborough, Plymouth or Wolfeboro, call 800.922.6872 or visit mvsb.com.