Four regional theatres in the UK have been named as the recipients of funding via the Theatres Trust.
The third round of the national advisory body’s Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme will hand a total of £45,000 to Brighton Hippodrome, Co-op Hall Ramsbottom, Grand Theatre Doncaster and King’s Theatre Kirkcaldy.
The programme is designed to support theatres on the Theatres Trust’s Theatres at Risk Register to commission expert advice and acquire the skills and knowledge to push forward capital projects to help save these theatres, which are considered architecturally important.
The four theatres are among the 31 listed on the Theatres at Risk Register 2021, published in January, and at various stages in their journey to restoration and revival.
This round of funding will support projects ranging from a building valuation survey to viability and community feasibility studies. Alongside the grant, each theatre will receive free support from the Theatres Trust advice team.
Claire Appleby, architecture adviser at Theatres Trust, said: “We believe every theatre on our Theatres at Risk list has the potential to be returned for use by their communities, providing performance venues of types currently lacking in their local areas and bringing much needed footfall to beleaguered high streets.
“We are pleased to support these theatres as we know from experience that these early stages can make a crucial difference to the progress of theatre revitalisation projects.”
Brighton Hippodrome will receive a grant for fundraising scoping and testing while Doncaster can now part-fund a viability study for the theatre.
Kirkcaldy’s grant will be used to undertake a community feasibility study to understand the audience and market demand. Ramsbottom will commission a market appraisal and a building valuation survey, which are considered vital first steps in the project to return the building to community performance use.
Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme is made possible thanks to the support of heritage charities The Pilgrim Trust and Swire Charitable Trust, with the past two rounds also funded by Historic England. Previous beneficiaries from the first two rounds of funding include Morecambe Winter Gardens and Derby Hippodrome.
Sue Bowers, director at The Pilgrim Trust, said: “Seeking solutions for historic buildings at risk is one of The Pilgrim Trust’s priorities, and so we are delighted that our partnership with the Theatres Trust does just that. Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme is an important step for local communities in preserving these culturally significant buildings now and in the future.”
Since 2006, Theatres Trust has helped save more than 80 theatres on the Theatres at Risk list.