Thursday, February 29, 2024

Theatre launches drive to raise further cash to realise revamp plans

After receiving £10 million of Levelling Up Fund money to develop the venue, Derby Theatre has launched a drive to raise further cash.

The funding the theatre has been awarded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities had originally been earmarked for a new learning theatre called ‘Assemble’ at the Assembly Rooms.

However, after the scheme was deemed unviable, the Government agreed that the £20 million it awarded for Assemble could be divided equally between revamping the existing Derby Theatre and Guildhall Theatre.

Now, Derby Theatre, which is based in Derbion, has revealed major plans to refurbish the venue – and enhance its facilities, including the addition of a brand-new studio theatre.

However, the overall cost of the redevelopment will need additional investment. To raise that extra cash, it has launched a campaign called Derby Theatre: New Horizons.

Sarah Brigham, Chief Executive and artistic director at Derby Theatre, said: “Derby Theatre is approaching its 50th birthday in 2025. This funding will allow us to secure the next 50 years of high-quality theatre in our city.”

Derby Theatre has said it plans to use its Levelling Up funding to develop its performance, community, participation and learning spaces.

As well as the new studio theatre, which will be a versatile space for the theatre to present innovative work, there would be an improved space for learners and the community, plus improvements to the audience experience in the main auditorium.

Sarah said: “We welcome nearly 100,000 people a year through our doors to see shows and 25,000 to take part in workshops and learning activity, so we are delighted that we will be able to use this funding to offer an even better experience to our customers and encourage more people to visit us for the first time.”

As well as announcing plans for the revamp, Derby Theatre has also revealed details of its New Horizons campaign, which aims to generate support and additional funds for the project.

The campaign will look to reach out to local communities, audiences, businesses, friends and stakeholders from the region.

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