Coventry's Albany Theatre saved from closure thanks to £2.9m grant

Coventry's Albany Theatre saved from closure thanks to £2.9m grant

Postby dutchman » Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:11 pm

Bosses said the theatre was having financial struggles prior to Covid-19

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A £2.9 million grant has been handed to Coventry’s Albany Theatre which bosses said will secure its long-term future and save it from closure.

The funding from the council will help improve the existing theatre, create three new studio spaces and revamp the front of house and cafe.

Planning permission for the works was granted in November with grant funding unanimously approved at full council on Tuesday, February 23.

In planning submissions, theatre bosses said the site had an annual operating deficit of £180,000-£200,000 and would close without the work.

Funding for the additional facilities will make use of undeveloped space in the old City College building and generate much-needed income.

Stressing the importance, David Meredith, Chair of the Albany Theatre Trust, said: “We had run out of money by April last year and Covid had nothing to do with it.

“We wanted the capital to develop the empty spaces and that is what we have done, now those spaces will generate enough revenue for the Trust to be self-sustaining.

“Without the grant we could not develop the spaces and with that we would keep losing money and would close. We have got the planning permission and will start work this year, doing little bits and hope to get it done by the end of next year.”

Kevin Shaw, CEO and Artistic Director, said the cash boost will ensure local needs are met.

He said: “Not only will the new developments ensure The Albany Theatre’s viability and thereby create a long-term legacy, but they will also allow us to offer a richer and more diverse programme, incubating emerging talent, and to develop the Albany as the home of learning and engagement programmes. We are creating a high-class, fully accessible arts and cultural venue to meet identified local needs.”

£500,000 of the funding comes from the City of Culture Capital Fund, with the remaining £2.4m from the council met through prudential borrowing.

Speaking at full council, Cllr David Welsh, cabinet member for housing and communities, said: “The capital project is an ambitious scheme to make the Albany a sustainable future offer for the city, long into the future. This includes new studio spaces and community facilities but going forward it also improves the offer that the Albany has.

“This is a make or break time for the Albany and Covid has hit hard at a number of cultural organisations but particularly the Albany.

“It is very clear the Albany is a valued cultural asset. This puts the Albany not just in a sustainable position, but really gives them the opportunity to take advantage of things that come out of the City of Culture.”

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Re: Coventry's Albany Theatre saved from closure thanks to £2.9m grant

Postby dutchman » Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:14 pm

£500,000 of the funding comes from the City of Culture Capital Fund, with the remaining £2.4m from the council met through prudential borrowing.


Why am I not convinced this is a good use of public money? :roll:
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Re: Coventry's Albany Theatre saved from closure thanks to £2.9m grant

Postby rebbonk » Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:56 pm

It's not a good use of public funds, Dutchman, as it will only benefit a few and those few will likely be a lot better off than most of the citizens of Coventry.

I'm of the view that if something can't stand on its own two feet (or be supported by those that use it) let it go to the wall.
Of course it'll fit; you just need a bigger hammer.
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Re: Coventry's Albany Theatre saved from closure thanks to £2.9m grant

Postby dutchman » Mon Jul 18, 2022 9:25 pm

Albany Theatre, Coventry: Work starts on £3m redevelopment

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Major works have started on the £3m redevelopment of a city theatre.

The Albany in Coventry is set to benefit from a new studio theatre and two education spaces, as well as a new café and bar area.

The building, which started as part of Coventry Technical College in 1935, survived the 1940, WW2 bombing of the city.

The Albany is also set to launch two theatre groups for children and young performers in the autumn.

Grants associated with the City of Culture programme and the local authority have enabled the works to take place.

David Meredith, chair of the Albany Theatre Trust, said: "It's fantastic to get the work under way as we enter an exciting new chapter in the Albany's history.

"These developments are helping us to improve the experience we provide to our audiences, while creating even more space for communities and local artists to use the Albany and enabling the trust to become financially self-sufficient."

:bbc_news:
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