A COMMUNITY theatre in Boscombe has launched a competition to find a new logo to complete its transition from a derelict building frequented by drug users to a thriving cultural hub.

Shelley Theatre in Beechwood Avenue was built in 1849 for Frankenstein author Mary Shelley by her son Percy. It later became a hall for Groveley School, was a base for the home guard in World War II and then used as a canteen for Bournemouth and Poole Art College, before the council-owned property lay empty for eight years.

Director of the theatre Jon Dunne, who previously launched the Exchange Theatre in Sturminster Newton, said he saw huge potential in the building and wanted to return it to its former glory.

“It was a mess. It was boarded up, being used by drug addicts and raided by people scavenging,” he said.

“It is a great space to make use of and my aim has always been to create a theatre which has a really positive impact on local people.”

The theatre now has 45 volunteers and, with turnover growing, they are now applying for charity status and hope to attract more people to help.

The Shelley is inviting entrants to design a new logo for the revitalised venue and another for their kids’ club.

Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East, will be one of the judges and told the theatre he was ‘honoured’ to be involved in the project. The winners will be given gallery space in the foyer for a month and three pairs of tickets to shows of their choice with complimentary wine.

Entries should be emailed in digital format by March 21 to