Birmingham Royal Ballet refurbishment gets ACE funding boost

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Birmingham Royal Ballet is to embark upon a £2.7 million refurbishment of its rehearsal facilities next year, after securing a financial boost of £1.85 million from Arts Council England.

The company was recently successful in the second stage of its application to ACE’s capital investment programme, which means it can now begin work in summer 2014.

The redevelopment project, called the Studio Transformation, will enable the organisation to increase its in-house work with the local community and young people.

Existing studio spaces at the company’s base – part of the Birmingham Hippodrome complex - will be re-configured to create three large ones. Changing rooms will be extended as well to create dedicated areas for children.

Meanwhile, bleacher seating will be installed in one of the studios to create a small public performance space for hosting masterclasses and showcasing rehearsals.

Walkways and public areas within the building will also be improved to make it easier to host community events.

Christopher Barron, BRB’s chief executive, said the project would also improve the company’s ability to rehearse large-scale ballet.

He said: “We are thrilled to receive the Arts Council England funding. It will enable us to create world-class studio facilities and continue to attract the world’s best talent to Birmingham. It will improve access for the many young people involved with Birmingham Royal Ballet and provide excellent audience development and fundraising facilities.

“In the current climate it will contribute to the company’s strategic objective of establishing long-term financial sustainability, less reliant on public subsidy.”

The company plans to raise the remaining money for the project through its Campaign for the Future fundraising initiative.