Five-year sponsorship deal for Leeds’s £14m West Yorkshire Playhouse redevelopment

PARTNERSHIP: Rob Cowling and Paddy Sturman of Irwin Mitchell with Robin Hawkes of West Yorkshire Playhouse. Photo: Anthony Robling.
PARTNERSHIP: Rob Cowling and Paddy Sturman of Irwin Mitchell with Robin Hawkes of West Yorkshire Playhouse. Photo: Anthony Robling.
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West Yorkshire Playhouse has signed a five year sponsorship deal with the Leeds office of law firm Irwin Mitchell as part of the theatre’s £14 million redevelopment.

It will see the company contribute to the Playhouse’s £2.3 million fundraising target.

As part of the agreement, the Playhouse’s new glass fronted foyer on St Peter’s Street will be named The Irwin Mitchell Foyer.

The company has already been working with the Playhouse since 2009, helping deliver more than 400 accessible performances and supporting its pioneering Relaxed and Dementia Friendly performances - the next of which are scheduled for February’s production of Still Alice starring Sharon Small.

The redevelopment project, in partnership with Leeds City Council, will be funded by £4.4m from the local authority, £3m from the Playhouse’s own resources - including ongoing fundraising - and a £6.6m Arts Council England contribution.

Work will include a brand new city-facing entrance, with work due to start this June.

West Yorkshire Playhouse Executive Director Robin Hawkes said: “We’re thrilled Irwin Mitchell are joining our redevelopment project as our first Principal Capital Partner, celebrating our strong nine year relationship.

“I’m delighted our organisations can continue to develop the partnership in this way, and I’m incredibly grateful for this important contribution towards our landmark redevelopment.”

Paddy Sturman, Banking and Finance Partner at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds, said: “We have been sponsors of the Playhouse for almost a decade now, something we are incredibly proud of.

“We are absolutely delighted to extend this relationship and take it to a new level ahead of an exciting period in the Playhouse’s development and at a time when access to the arts and entertainment becomes more central to the debate about city living.”