Lyric Hammersmith begins construction of £16.5m training facilities

Artist's impression of the capital development project
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Construction has begun today on Lyric Hammersmith’s £16.5 million capital development project.

After six years of fundraising, the west London venue plans to build new facilities including drama, dance and recording studios, a sensory space for children with disabilities and storage areas for props and costumes by February 2014.

At a launch event held today, executive director Jessica Hepburn said the project will “change the landscape of Hammersmith” with its two-storey extension over the shopping centre that is adjacent to the venue.

She added that it will also “affect the lives of thousands of people”.

As part of its redevelopment, the Lyric plans to become a ‘teaching theatre’ for the performing arts, through acting, writing and singing programmes it will offer to young people and by supporting them in their future careers.

Hepburn also said that work will be done to the existing theatre building to give it a “major facelift” and that she hoped improvements would make the venue “one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in the UK”.

“This is a unique project and the largest cultural development of its kind to take place in west London for decades. We’re extremely grateful to everyone who has contributed their vision and support to the project and we’re delighted to be putting culture and young people at the heart of the regeneration of Hammersmith and Fulham,” she said.

Moira Sinclair, the executive director of Arts Council England, London attended the launch event and paid tribute to the partners that had joint funded the project alongside the arts council.

She said: “We’re here supporting the project because of the work it does with young people and particularly because it creates this cultural hub for us in west London.

“We never fund these projects of this kind of scale anymore without partners and I want to pay particular tribute to the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and the officers and members there. I can’t imagine how challenging it is for you guys at the moment.”