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Green dream: Arcola Theatre wants to be the world’s first carbon-neutral theatre.

The Arcola Theatre in Dalston is a step closer to becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral theatre after it won funding for a new heating system.

The Ashwin Street venue will begin the installation of a full carbon-neutral heating system next month, after 1797 people voted for its ‘Carbon Neutral Arcola’ proposal online.

With the highest number of votes in London by a margin of over 1200, the project won £12,500 cash from the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund.

Feimatta Conteh, Sustainability Manager at Arcola Theatre said: “This is a huge step forward on our course to becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral theatre.

“In just a couple of months, we’ll be welcoming our audiences to a warmer and more sustainable building. I’d like to thank everyone who voted, and all those who support Arcola, without whom this would not have been possible.”

Energy-efficient radiators will be installed in the foyer, bar, office and rehearsal studios and will be connected to the theatre’s biomass boiler, which generates heat from waste and scrap wood that would otherwise go to landfill.

The Arcola expects that the new heating system will reduce the theatre’s carbon emissions by 5 tonnes every year.

Jonathan Hazeldine, Head of M&S Energy said: “We were absolutely delighted with the number of entries we received for the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund and it was brilliant to see communities coming together in support of renewable energy projects in their area – we received over 51,000 votes in total.

“We have a very worthy list of 26 winners from a whole range of projects which all exemplify the innovative approach communities across the UK are taking to generating their own energy.”

M&S Energy’s investment comprises 50 per cent of the required funding, with the other half provided by Arcola Theatre’s Supporters.