RDP project database
The Lerbäck Theatre Barn
The extension and conversion of an old farm’s granary into a theatre with restaurant facilities was at the heart of a rural business’ development and contributed to create jobs and added value for the local rural economy.
After they had been running a big summer theatre at an amusement park for several years, Johan and Jenny Gille decided to settle in a rural village some 25 km outside the city of Örebro to get a higher quality of life and start their own summer theatre at home. Having tested a new business idea during winters at a small hotel nearby, combining “theatre and dinner”, they decided to convert their old granary into a “theatre and dinner hall” in order to provide an unique leisure offer to a diverse audience of young and adults all year round.
The cooperation with the hotel being about to end, the main objective of the project was to ensure continuity of the theatre activity also during autumns and winters by securing the premises for “theatre dinners”. Besides, the project aimed at diversifying and developing the business creating at least 3-4 full time additional jobs for actors. The financial self-sustainability and the possibility to run independently from further subsidies were also among the aims of the project.
The investments undertaken through the EAFRD support concerned the extension of the granary and its conversion into a big dinner hall including a restaurant kitchen. The project activities included: external and internal reconstruction of the old granary; extension constructions connected to the old granary building also including sanitary installation; setting up of a fully-equipped restaurant kitchen; devising additional rooms and installing technical equipment for the theatre.
Results & Benefits
Results were over the expectations. On annual basis, 11 full time equivalent jobs have been created. All the theatre plays combined with dinner are sold out at every performance. A theatre school during autumn and winter vacation weeks has been established with 15 children participating every week. Cooperation with local food producers to provide local quality food to the restaurant and with local businesses such as nearby B&B also contributed to create added value for the local economy.
Sound planning, good preparation and the possibility to test the business idea are key to the success of a project idea. The project showed that it is possible to create jobs in a rural area through investing in the cultural sector. Cultural companies can contribute to enhance the marketing of both local food and tourism services. Overall, they increase the attractiveness of the area and it is possible to attract visitors from cities to a small rural area if the offer is of good quality.
Project location and other information
The Lerbäck theatre is situated some 25 km south of the city of Örebro, about 200 km to the west of Stockholm.
Total project cost (€)
EAFRD contribution (€)
National contribution (€)
Private contribution (€)
+46 583 40402
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At a glance
Final beneficiary type
Non-farm or non-forest entreprises
€100 000 - €500 000
Theme / Measure:
Rural Quality of Life & Economic Diversification
Rural economic diversification
312. Support for business creation and development
Rural tourism, Local food, Tourism, Employment, Enterprise