Harrogate Theatres to launch new development hub

Harrogate Theatre. Photo: Kris Chapman
by -

Harrogate Theatres is to launch a fourth space that will house its education and outreach work, as well as providing a base for its associate companies.

The organisation already operates the Royal Hall, the Harrogate Theatre and the Harrogate Studio Theatre. In September, it will officially launch Hive, which will allow activities such as its youth theatre, education programmes and community workshops to have their own home, situated close to the main house.

“It’s important for something like the youth theatre to feel connected to the theatre, as they’re at the heart of what we’re doing,” explained David Bown, chief executive of Harrogate Theatres.

Hive will be housed in the top two floors of a building that has been specifically refurbished by the theatre.

It will be able to seat up to 50 people and will also be home to a development hub for new work, where the theatres’ associate companies can use office and workshop space for research, development and rehearsal.
“We offer our 15 associate companies whatever we can to help them and our infrastructure is at their disposal,” Bown said.

Hive is already in use by some associate companies but will launch officially in September in conjunction with the new school year.

There is potential for the space to also be used for performances by those who it was made for, Bown explained.

“I don’t think we’ll programme it as a formal performance space, in the first instance at least. It will no doubt develop over time but our immediate priority is to all about new work and young people, enthusing with them what we do and making them feel valued,” he said.