Grant bid for West Yorkshire Playhouse plan

An artist's impression of the redesigned West Yorkshire Playhouse.
An artist's impression of the redesigned West Yorkshire Playhouse.
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A multi-million pound grant funding bid towards a radical transformation of the West Yorkshire Playhouse is expected to be rubber stamped by senior councillors this month.

Approval will be sought at a meeting of Leeds Council’s executive board on July 17 for a £6.33m funding application to be submitted to Arts Council England to take the proposals a step closer to becoming a reality.

Subject to the Stage 2 grant being awarded, the theatre will be given a “stunning” new city-facing entrance, improved access and a new studio theatre space in the Rock Void.

Construction work would be expected to begin early next year.

The project, which will cost £14m in total, is seen as a key element of the city’s efforts to be named European Capital of Culture in 2023.

In parallel with the project and subject to council approval additional plans include the creation of a new public space adjacent to the Playhouse.

Council leader, Coun Judith Blake, said: “This is another exciting step towards the transformation of one of our most cherished arts institutions and a powerful statement of intent about our ambitions for the future of culture in Leeds.

“The West Yorkshire Playhouse is an integral part of the city’s cultural landscape and this project will both secure its future, make the theatre and its surrounding area a more vibrant and attractive place to live, work and visit.”

Page\Park Architects are designing the theatre’s new look, having previously designed improvements for The Centre for Contemporary Arts and the Theatre Royal in Glasgow.