Opera North pays £2m for larger storage headquarters

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Opera North has invested around £2m in a former factory building, which will increase its capacity for storing props and scenery by almost two thirds.

The company, which is headquartered at The Grand Theatre in Leeds, acquired the former Polestar Jowetts factory at Evanston Avenue, Leeds, from Scottish Widows Investment Partnership.

Ric Green, operations and technical director at Opera North, said the building would be able to store up to 75 complete operas compared to a maximum of 46 in its current base at Gildersome Spur.

The 73,374 sq ft property, originally a purpose-built printing facility, will be used to store sets, props and scenery required to stage various productions. It will also house Opera North’s own vehicle workshop to service its fleet of vehicles used to support the company on tour and could be used for some rehearsals.

Mr Green said: “We have built up a good international reputation over the last 10 years and we need more space to store these shows.”

Opera North puts on nine operas a year over three seasons plus other concerts.

Gent Visick acted on behalf of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership in the acquisition and AWS acted on behalf of Opera North.

Andrew Gent, from Gent Visick, said: “Opera North had been looking for some time for a new facility in which to undertake these operations. Evanston Avenue offered the right mix of accommodation and the location, within three miles of the Grand Theatre.”