Funding has been provided to commission a study that could help secure the future of the Grand Theater in Doncaster.

Theaters Trust, the national theater advisory body, has announced that Doncaster Grand Theater is one of four UK theaters to receive a £ 45,000 share of the third round of its Theaters at Risk capacity building program. The other theaters are Brighton Hippodrome, Co-op Hall Ramsbottom and King’s Theater Kirkcaldy.

The Doncaster Grand is an ornate Grade II listed Victorian theater with strong community support. He has been on the Theater Trust’s at-risk register since the list began in 2006.

Doncaster Council received a £ 11,500 venture theater capacity building grant to partially fund a viability study for the theater.

The study will be led by City Council with input from the Friends of Doncaster Grand Theater and the building owner, Frenchgate Limited Partnership.

Cllr Nigel Ball, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Recreation, Culture and Planning, said:

“We are delighted that our financing offer was successful. The Grand Theater is a very popular building in the heart of downtown Doncaster that we want to help revive with our partners the Friends of the Grand Theater of Doncaster, the Frenchgate shopping center which owns the building and the Theaters Trust.

“The grant will help us commission a study to identify potential viable options for its future so that it can hopefully play its role in complementing the recently completed redevelopment of the nearby station forecourt and the many other programs for it. regeneration that we are undertaking to revitalize downtown Doncaster such as the Danum Gallery, Library and Museum and the new Savoy Doncaster leisure complex in our civic and cultural district.

Karen Staniforth, Managing Director of Frenchgate Shopping Center, said:

“Even if it is only in its infancy, it is a positive step forward for the future preservation of the Grand Théâtre. This will contribute to the larger Frenchgate shopping center and Doncaster town center projects. “

The program is designed to support theaters on the Theaters Trust’s Theaters at Risk Register to seek expert advice and acquire the skills and knowledge to move capital projects forward to save those theaters. of architectural significance. The theaters are all on the 2021 At-Risk Theaters Register, as announced in January, but are at different stages of their journey towards restoration and rebirth.

This round of funding will support projects ranging from a building assessment study to community viability and feasibility studies. In addition to the grant, each theater will receive free support from the Theaters Trust advisory team.

Claire Appleby, Architectural Advisor at Theaters Trust, comments:

“We believe that every theater on our list of at-risk theaters has the potential to be returned for use by their communities, providing performance venues of the types that are currently lacking in their local areas and bringing much needed attendance to the streets. main besieged. We are delighted to support these theaters because we know from experience that these first steps can make a crucial difference in advancing theater revitalization projects. “

Theaters that received support in the last two phases of the program have made real progress. Morecambe Winter Gardens reaped the benefits of governance and business planning support, unlocking more sources of funding and providing stability to survive the lockdown. Funding for a conditions survey and governance work also helped the Groundlings Theater in Portsea access funding for necessary repair work. Funded viability studies at Derby Racecourse and the Swindon Mechanic’s Institute have shown pathways for the buildings, as a concert hall and multi-purpose community and cultural space, respectively.

The at-risk theaters capacity building program is made possible by the generous support of the Pilgrim Trust and the Swire Charitable Trust, with the last two cycles also being funded by Historic England.

Sue Bowers, Director of the Pilgrim Trust says:

“Finding solutions for historic buildings in danger is one of the priorities of the Pilgrim Trust, and so we are delighted that our partnership with the Theaters Trust is doing just that. The at-risk theaters capacity building program is an important step for local communities in preserving these culturally significant buildings now and in the future.

Sarah Irving, Grants Manager at Swire Charitable Trust, says:

“We are delighted to once again support the Theaters Trust’s risk theater capacity building program. This vital program is needed more than ever to help create a viable future for these endangered local gems and to support community groups who are fighting to see them survive. We will follow with great interest the progress of each project.