The future of popular arts venue Watford Pump House is in doubt amid urgent fundraising for a new roof.

A campaign has been launched to raise £750,000 for a watertight, insulated roof and other improvements, including better disabled access and dressing rooms.

The venue celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022, but without the much-needed funding, Lee Farman, chair of the Pump House Theatre and Arts Trust, fears its time could be coming to an end.

Watford Observer: Pump House artists' impression of the changes to the venuePump House artists' impression of the changes to the venue (Image: Watford Pump House)

He said: “Over the years we’ve welcomed thousands of people through our doors but to have a future we urgently need a new roof.

“As a charity we currently receive minimal direct funding or grants so rely on the generosity of our supporters and volunteers to stay open.

“That’s why I’m encouraging everyone to get behind our Raise the Roof campaign and donate today.”

To make a donation visit

The funding will also be used for additional seats in a new balcony area of the main theatre auditorium.

Bigger dressing rooms that will support larger productions and disabled access will also be part of the improvements.

Other potential upgrades include a new multi-purpose art and rehearsal studio space with natural light sources.

Watford Observer: Pump House interior Pump House interior (Image: Watford Pump House)

Organisers intend to retain and make a feature of the historic rear wall, as well as adding a permanent exhibition of the history of the Pump House building.

Additional performer support facilities for its Colne River Room space, are also expected to be added.

As part of its Raise the Roof fundraising campaign, the Pump House has launched a new membership scheme to give people the chance to enjoy perks and exclusive offers at the same time as supporting its work.

This includes discounted performance tickets, free interval drinks, backstage tours and cheaper room hiring. There are membership levels for both individuals and organisations.

To sign up as a member, visit

The Pump House is part of Watford’s diverse community that was developed into a theatre in the 1970s, and supports children, those living with mental health problems, learning disabilities or dementia.