The national public advisory body for theatre has awarded a further £155,265 of grants to help theatres with costs of Covid-secure reopening, including changes to the building to reduce congestion, improvements to ventilation systems and simple measures like installing hand sanitisers and screens.
The theatres supported reflect the vital elements that make up the theatre ecosystem with awards made to significant producing theatres – Hampstead Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Theatre Royal Bath – major receiving houses Capital Theatres and Worthing Theatres, venues specialising in dance (Northern Ballet), new writing (Traverse, New Diorama, Gate Theatre) and one of the country’s few puppet theatres, Upfront Theatre. Community theatres across the country have received grants, including young people-focused Blue Elephant Theatre and Hanger Farm Arts Centre, which works with people with learning disabilities.
Theatres Trust has also given grants to help reopen every type of theatre building, including the country’s last remaining Regency theatre, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, theatres in converted cinemas (People’s Theatre and Blackburn Empire) and former churches (Headgate Theatre and Lowestoft Players Theatre), pub theatres (Jack Studio Theatre), outdoor theatre (Rutland Open Air) and even a travelling theatre – Paines Plough.
Theatres Trust Director Jon Morgan said: “We are beginning to look forward to a time when theatres can reopen, welcome audiences back inside and continue to play a vital role in their communities. It has been a difficult year, but Theatres Trust is pleased to have been able to support so many theatres through this grant scheme as well as our free advice service and the #SaveOurTheatres Crowdfunding campaign.”
The Theatre Reopening Fund was launched in June 2020 in response to the pandemic. Through this scheme, Theatres Trust has supported 75 theatres across the length and breadth of the UK, with grants totalling £301,873.
The Theatre Reopening Fund has been made possible thanks to the generous support of funders: Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Charles Michael Holloway Charitable Trust, Judy Craymer CBE, Soho Estates, The Basil Samuel Charitable Trust, The Foyle Foundation, The Mackintosh Foundation, The Pilgrim Trust, The Swire Charitable Trust, Theatre Royal, Haymarket and Theatre Super Auction.
Photo credit: Aaron Weight