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West Yorkshire Playhouse given go-ahead for £14m refurb

Artist impression of the new entrance at West Yorkshire Playhouse. Credit: Page Park Artist impression of the new entrance at West Yorkshire Playhouse. Credit: Page Park
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A major £14 million redevelopment of West Yorkshire Playhouse has been given the green light by Leeds City Council.

The revamp will create a third performance space, a studio that will be used to develop new artists, as well as transform the playhouse’s entrance hall, improve accessibility and replace outdated equipment and infrastructure.

West Yorkshire Playhouse to create studio theatre in £14m revamp

The plans have now been approved by the council, with Arts Council England also confirming a total grant of £6.6 million towards the landmark project.

The local authority has given £4.4 million with £3 million coming from the theatre’s own resources and fundraising activity.

West Yorkshire Playhouse artistic director James Brining said the organisation took “the responsibility of refashioning the playhouse extremely seriously”.

He added: “The playhouse is used and loved by hundreds of thousands of people every year. The opportunity to make the theatre even more accessible, welcoming and fit for purpose for the 21st century is one we relish.”

Executive director Robin Hawkes said: “This is a fantastic combination of news to receive just before Christmas. It is the culmination of nearly five years of hard work by so many people both at the playhouse and at the council and means we can go into the New Year planning positively for a new era for our theatre.”

Work is due to begin next year, with the theatre continuing to stage work throughout the construction by temporarily turning a workshop space into a 350-seat pop-up performance area.

The work is due for completion in 2019.

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