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£300,000 scheme aimed at helping theatres carry out improvements launched

Wilton's Music Hall, one of the final recipients of the Urgent Repairs scheme. Photo: James Perry Wilton's Music Hall, one of the final recipients of the Urgent Repairs scheme. Photo: James Perry
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A new £300,000 scheme for improving theatre buildings has been announced by the Theatres Trust.

The fund is being launched in partnership with the Wolfson Foundation and is called the Theatre Improvement Scheme.

It will distribute £100,000 each year over the next three years with awards of up to 20,000 per project, encouraging theatres to implement “innovative and pioneering improvements”, whether that is front of house or behind the scenes.

It will have a different theme each year, with the focus for 2018 to be improving accessibility, with funding to be awarded to projects that will make theatres more accessible through changes to their buildings or systems.

Director of the Theatres Trust, Jon Morgan, said: “Many theatres, particularly those built some time ago, face challenges ensuring all audience members, companies and crew can have an equally brilliant experience.

“Level changes, signage and seating are some of the areas that need addressing. We look forward to seeing theatres challenge the status quo and embark on valuable projects to make theatregoing accessible for all.”

Chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation, Paul Ramsbottom, said: “Following a successful pilot programme, we are delighted to continue our partnership with the Theatres Trust to benefit theatres across the UK. The foundation has an emphasis on accessibility across a number of our funding programmes and we look forward to working with the trust in this renewed partnership.”

The deadline for the improving accessibility round of the Theatre Improvement Scheme is September 13.

The trust has also revealed the final four recipients of its Urgent Repairs Scheme, which was set up in partnership with the Wolfson Foundation. They include Wilton’s Music Hall in London and the Ayr Gaiety Theatre in Scotland.

In total, the theatres will receive £54,520, which will be used for purposes including repairing signage, replacing a safety curtain and accessibility improvements