West Yorkshire Playhouse in line for MAJOR transformation

Plans to transform the West Yorkshire Playhouse will be discussed by senior councillors in Leeds.

Leeds City Council’s executive board will be asked to approve the next stage of a funding application which will allow transformative proposals for one of the city’s key cultural institutions to move to the next stage.

Subject to Arts Council England awarding a Stage 2 grant, the project will deliver improved access to the theatre, a stunning new city-facing entrance and a new studio theatre space in the Rock Void.

The next step in the Playhouse project comes after Leeds was named in Lonely Planet’s Best in Europe 2017, where the city was praised for its thriving urban regeneration and cultural scene.

The investment in the Playhouse is also seen as a key element of the city’s ongoing efforts to be named European Capital of Culture in 2023 as well as a catalyst for regenerating an important part of the city and stimulating economic growth through culture.

In parallel with the scheme for the theatre, proposals which remain subject to council approval also include the creation of a new public space in the area known as Gateway Court, adjacent to the Playhouse aimed at improving connectivity with the city centre and revitalising the theatre’s surroundings.

At the meeting on July 17, members of the executive board will be asked to authorise the Council to submit a Stage 2 application to Arts Council England for a grant of £6.33m toward an overall project cost of £14m.

The project is expected to see the council commit £4.3m towards the cost of the refurbishment of the theatre building, with the remaining cost coming from the Playhouse through reserves and fundraising.

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