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Royal Exchange, Home and Old Vic among recipients of Theatres Trust accessibility funding

Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre and Home are among the venues receiving funding from the Theatres Trust. Photos: Catherine Gerbrands/Chris Payne
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The Theatres Trust has awarded its 100th grant to a consortium of theatres in Greater Manchester, including Home and the Royal Exchange, to make them more accessible.

Seven projects have been awarded a total of more than £100,000 by the Theatres Trust’s Theatre Improvement Scheme, in partnership with the Wolfson Foundation, which focuses on improving the accessibility of theatres.

The 100th grant to be awarded by the trust will be used to purchase and share captioning equipment, improving access for the D/deaf community at the Greater Manchester Theatres.

As well as Home and the Royal Exchange, other theatres to benefit include the Lowry in Salford, Contact and children’s company Z-Arts in Manchester, Oldham Coliseum and Bolton Octagon.

The other six projects to receive funding in this round include the installation of assistive listening systems at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough and the Gulbenkian in Canterbury, which will allow them to offer audio description of performances.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre is to have its front door fitted with an automatic opening device, while access to the box office at London’s Old Vic Theatre will be improved. The other theatres to benefit are Oxford Playhouse and Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre and Opera House.

Tom Stickland, Theatres Trust theatres adviser said: “Everyone should be able to enjoy the full experience a trip to the theatre offers, regardless of their access requirements.

“With this funding, in partnership with the Wolfson Foundation, we are able to support seven great projects and 13 theatres around the country, who, by working with their audiences, have found meaningful solutions that allow better access – and that show other theatres how they too can better cater for their audiences’ needs and make theatre going more accessible.”

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