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Glyndebourne plans major new production facility

Glyndebourne has unveiled plans for a major new production centre that will bring all of its production departments under one roof for the first time.

It will be the opera organisation’s biggest capital development since the rebuilding of its opera house in 1994.

The building, for which planning permission is sought, will house the technical workspace needed to mount its productions as well as providing extra rehearsal space and three new music practice rooms. It will house Glyndebourne’s props and carpentry departments as well as its costume department, design studio and make-up and wigs workrooms.

There will also be a public-facing element to the building, with plans to offer backstage tours.

Planning documents submitted to the South Downs National Park Authority state that there has been little investment in Glyndebourne’s technical production areas, and that staff are currently expected to work in areas that are “not fit for purpose” and work is having to be outsourced due to the lack of a modern facility.

Glyndebourne said the new building would help attract and retain creative staff as well as providing state-of-the-art facilities for its work. It will also be built to improve the organisation’s environmental footprint.

Nicholas Hare Architects has been appointed to carry out the project, and work is expected to begin later this year if planning permission is granted.

Glyndebourne’s executive chairman Gus Christie said: “Our plan to build a new, state-of-the-art production hub will address this challenge by uniting our making departments under one roof and giving them world-class facilities in which to work. Not only will this help us achieve the highest possible artistic standards, but it will also ensure we continue to attract the best expert staff.”

The plans have been supported by the Theatres Trust, which welcomed the “upgrade and range of facilities to be provided, particularly the double height central workshop for the construction of large sets and props”.