Wolverhampton Grand awarded £400k for front-of-house refit
Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre has been given the go-ahead for a major transformation of its front of house areas.
Wolverhampton City Council has approved a £400,000 grant that had been earmarked for the Grand in order to “attract a more varied product to the city, and thereby increase audience numbers and earned income”.
The council’s cabinet has now given the £800,000 project the green light by approving this money for the Grand’s refurbishment, however the theatre must match fund the remaining budget if it is to receive the council’s £400,000 contribution.
The money will come out of a local enterprise partnership fund allocated to Wolverhampton City Council in 2014.
The West Midlands theatre confirmed it was working on a strategy to secure the money, and hoped to attract corporate sponsors.
A spokeswoman said: “We’re delighted that the council has awarded the Grand Theatre £400,000 of its recent local enterprise partnership funding grant. We’re currently working towards a fundraising strategy which we hope to launch before Christmas to match the £400,000 in order to proceed with our capital development project scheduled to start in the summer of 2016.”
Plans include refurbishing the theatre’s main foyer and bar areas, as well as bars on the first and second floor of the building.
A report prepared for the council’s cabinet described the current front of house areas as “dated” and “uninviting”, but said the revamp would maximise the theatre’s potential “to become a city destination and a theatre of choice within the West Midlands and beyond”.
It added that the investment would allow the theatre to develop new audiences through additional performance spaces.
Earlier this year, the theatre revealed plans for a new performance area, which will stage small-scale theatre, comedy and music, and will be developed as part of the new ground floor bar.
There will be scope for the space to be used before and after main house performances as well as during the daytime.
It is expected that the works will be completed by mid-2017.
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