Chichester Festival Theatre reopens following £22m transformation

Chichester Festival Theatre. Photo: Philip Vile.
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Chichester Festival Theatre has reopened following a £22 million redevelopment project, which has seen the venue benefit from larger foyer areas, a refurbished auditorium and improved access facilities.

Alan Finch, executive director at the theatre, said that the theatre had reopened on schedule – 21 months after it closed for the renovation work.

“I am immensely proud of the hard work undertaken by our architects, building team and contractors, theatre staff and our campaign committee,” he said.

Other changes include improved backstage facilities, featuring better facilities for actors and creatives. Changes to the building mean it is also more energy efficient.

The redevelopment project, known as Renew, was conceived by architects Haworth Tompkins, which has previously worked on the Royal Court in London and Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre.

Renew received £12 million from Arts Council England, which unlocked £8 million in pledges from businesses, trusts and individuals. West Sussex County Council gave £1.5 million, while Chichester District Council gave £500,000. The remaining funds were sourced by the campaign committee at the theatre, with more than 12,000 people supporting the fundraising appeal.

The new stage at Chichester