Leader of the County Council, Councillor Keith Mans, said: “Winchester’s Theatre Royal is a hugely important and popular community facility, welcoming more than 70,000 visitors per year to performances - and supporting more than 300 young people regularly through the year with music, theatre and dance activities. By supporting the theatre to make some improvements to the internal layout, we can enable them to utilise the space more flexibly, in this excellent facility.”
The Chief Executive of Live Theatre Winchester Trust, the charity which delivers both The Theatre Royal Winchester and Hat Fair for the benefit of Hampshire communities, said: “We are most grateful that Hampshire County Council and other investors have had the vision to support this exciting redevelopment. Contributions from the public via the Restoration Levy on tickets means that everyone who has bought a ticket has also made a contribution to this project. Thank you!
“Transforming our bar and foyer spaces is just the start of our ambition to encourage more people to engage with performing arts and feel able to access this special building. It is after all, a wonderful community asset. This project is part of a rebrand of our charity to match its new vision which is “to Delight and Unite”. Do come in and find out more and watch out for all the changes which you will see from September.”
The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation and The Backstage Trust are amongst other investors to this project.
Internal works to remodel the front of house areas will be undertaken during July and August resulting in a smart, contemporary new interior, designed for improved flow of people through the building and more flexible use of the available spaces for different types of activities.
The recently granted planning permission and listed building permission also support longer-term proposals to make external alterations, including a new canopy and new windows and doors across the theatre’s main entrance on Jewry Street. These alterations will require separate funding and will be considered at a later time.