Grant brings theatre step closer to funding target

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York’s Theatre Royal has secured more than half its fundraising target for a major renovation project.

Arts Council England has awarded the venue £2.9 million towards the refurbishment of its auditorium and other improvement work designed to increase capacity and make it more accessible for theatre-goers, which is set to start in March next year.

The total cost of the redevelopment, one of the biggest in the theatre site’s 270-year-old history, is £4.1 million. Contributions from York Council, Garfield Weston Foundation, Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation and other organisations mean there is £500,000 left to find.

Chief executive Liz Wilson, said “We are immensely proud of the fact that York Theatre Royal is the oldest continuously working theatre in the country outside of London, but, more so because what we have here is not a museum; it is still a thriving venue, hugely loved by the people of York and the surrounding area and integral to the healthy cultural life of this city.

“This investment allows us to take the next step in securing our future and ensuring we continue to provide the very best theatrical experiences for the next generation.”

The theatre building will close for a period of eight months while work is carried out.