Leith Theatre is a Category B listed building, empty from 1988 to 2016, when it partly reopened. There is much to be done to fully re-open it on a permanent basis.
This funding will provide mentoring consultancy works, accounts and leadership training, and a package of consultancy expertise work covering financial, marketing / fundraising, audience development and community membership, and stakeholder engagement.
Leith Theatre is one of six theatres to receive funding through the second round of the Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme, run by the national advisory body for theatres. The others are Brighton Hippodrome, Derby Hippodrome, Granada in Walthamstow, Groundings Theatre in Portsmouth and Streatham Hill Theatre.
The programme is designed to support theatres on the Theatres Trust’s Theatres at Risk Register to commission expert advice and acquire the skills and knowledge to push forward capital projects to help save their theatres. Alongside the funding, the theatre will receive support and advice from the Theatres Trust advice team.
Lynn Morrison, Exec Director of Leith Theatre Trust said, “We are delighted to receive this funding and most especially at this time. We are a Theatre at Risk and a business start-up, with major refurbishment and construction needs. This funding allows us to prioritise strategic next steps for Leith Theatre and invest in expertise to work with us to support our business planning. The timing could not be more perfect and will help to build confidence at this time as we plan for what will be a new future.”
Theatres Trust Architecture Advisor Claire Appleby says “We know how difficult it can be for theatres to raise funding for the early stage concept and viability works and for organisational support. These first stages of a project provide the vital foundations for both project and organisation, and we hope that with this support, these theatres will be able to make real progress.”
Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme is supported by Historic England, The Pilgrim Trust and Swire Charitable Trust.
Sue Bowers of the Pilgrim Trust says: “The Pilgrim Trust recognises the importance of supporting theatres at risk to save their buildings and give them a viable and sustainable future. This is not just because so many of the buildings are of outstanding significance, but also because a restored, vibrant and well visited theatre building can assist with the regeneration of the centres of our towns and cities. We are delighted to be funding this programme.”
Martha Allfrey Trustee of the Swire Charitable Trust says “The Swire Charitable Trust is delighted to be supporting the Theatres Trust’s Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme. We applaud its goal of removing vulnerable theatres from the Theatres at Risk Register, thus securing the future of these vital cultural, community and heritage assets. Theatres Trust’s unique and intense work with these theatres can lend support in so many ways, offering exciting opportunities to the community and campaign groups involved – we will follow the progress of each project with great interest.”