The Theatres Trust, the UK’s leading advisory body for the theatre industry, has unveiled its 2023 Theatres at Risk Register on Monday, February 6th. The release of the list brings with it some exciting news, as three theatres have been successfully removed from the register, due to the collaborative efforts of the Theatres Trust, local authorities, community groups, and operators.
One of these theatres, Century Theatre, has overcome its challenges and now boasts a permanent home in Coalville, Leicestershire. This unique traveling theatre was once at risk of redevelopment, but with the help of the community and local authorities, it is now serving the area with improved facilities. Another theatre, Walthamstow Granada, was bought and refurbished by the Waltham Forest Council and will soon reopen as Soho Theatre Walthamstow, with the Soho Theatre Company as the operator. The Swansea Palace Theatre, a Victorian musical hall that has been on the at-risk list since 2006, is being transformed into an office space, with room for small-scale performances and events.
Although there is cause for celebration, there are still theatres on the list facing challenges. The Dudley Hippodrome and the Intimate Theatre in Enfield are facing demolition and redevelopment plans, despite opposition from the Theatres Trust and local communities. On a positive note, Spilsby’s Session House and Morecambe Winter Gardens will benefit from the recently announced Levelling Up funding, and other theatres such as Burnley Empire, Leith Theatre, and Theatre Royal Margate are making progress.
Despite the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis, and funding cuts, the Theatres Trust is pleased to report that no additional theatres were added to the at-risk list this year. The organization remains committed to providing free advice and support to help prevent more theatres from reaching the critical stage of being added to the list, especially in light of the challenging environment that theatres are facing this year.
It is fantastic to see three significant theatres being removed from the Theatres at Risk list, as a result of campaigning and advice from Theatres Trust as well as the dedication of councils and local communities. The Theatres at Risk list is about finding the best use for buildings within their communities, so they can be enjoyed for many years to come, and these three theatres are shining examples of that.Musician, actor and Theatres Trust board member Gary Kemp
On top of this, the Theatres Trust has recently launched Resilient Theatres: Resilient Communities, a new support and training programme aimed at helping Theatres at Risk and theatres in danger of becoming at risk.This new support and training program will provide critical assistance to both existing “Theatres at Risk” and to theatres that are in danger of joining that list. Funded by a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and contributions from the Pilgrim Trust and Swire Charitable Trust, this three-year project will empower communities to take ownership of, and operate, their local theatres.