Derby Theatre is looking to raise £10 million to enable it to expand and accommodate its growing number of visitors.
The theatre is owned by the University of Derby, which reopened the old Derby Playhouse in 2009. Since then, audiences have risen at the 535-seat theatre and its 110-seat studio, which is accessed through a car park attached to the shopping centre in which Derby Theatre is located.
Artistic director and chief executive Sarah Brigham said capital plans were at a very early stage.
“With increasing audiences and participants, and a greater focus on producing work in house, we need more space. We’re at about 67% capacity which is above the national average. We have about 110,000 visitors through the doors every year. We also have between 15,000 and 18,000 young people that we work with every year and basically our space is too small,” Brigham said.
She added: “In the coming months we’ll start to consolidate what we need and approach partners to come on board to help us realise our ambition of taking more great theatre to more people.”
As well as an expanded studio theatre, Brigham said she would like more rehearsal space and a place for the venue’s wardrobe, set and props.
Brigham also revealed that in 2016 Derby Theatre had discussions with the city council about moving to the city’s Assembly Rooms, a building which has been dark since a fire in 2014. But the council felt there was not enough room for both organisations on the same site.