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Spend a Penny scheme to flush £125k into ladies’ theatre toilet improvements

A £125,000 scheme to improve female toilets in theatres has been launched. Photo: Shutterstock A £125,000 scheme to improve female toilets in theatres has been launched. Photo: Shutterstock
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A new £125,000 scheme to improve women’s toilets in theatres across the UK has been launched.

The Spend a Penny scheme, run by the Theatres Trust, will offer a total of £125,000 to up to 10 theatres to improve their toilet provision for women, however applications to improve unisex or gender-neutral facilities will also be received.

According to the British Standards Institution, a 500-seat auditorium should have around eight ladies’ toilets. However many theatres do not meet this standard, the trust said.

“The anxiety caused by long queues, with unappealing conditions often awaiting even the lucky few, meaningfully diminishes the joy of theatre for about half the audience,” it added.

The money for the Spend a Penny scheme has been provided by philanthropists and theatregoers Susan and Simon Ruddick. The latter is chair of Albourne Partners and a trustee of the Theatres Trust.

As part of the scheme, a letter has been sent out to theatrical dames, which asks them to back the campaign.

Theatres are being invited to apply for up to £15,000 each, with the closing date for applications set at October 26. The Theatres Trust will decide on the winners, and successful applicants will be revealed in December.

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