Milestone for Leeds Playhouse as £16m revamp starts at culture hub

OFF WE GO: From left, West Yorkshire Playhouse executive director Robin Hawkes, Coun Judith Blake, artistic director James Brining and Sir Rodney Brooke.
OFF WE GO: From left, West Yorkshire Playhouse executive director Robin Hawkes, Coun Judith Blake, artistic director James Brining and Sir Rodney Brooke.
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WORK is officially under way on a multi-million pound redevelopment of one of Yorkshire’s best-loved theatres.

Leeds Playhouse, until recently known as West Yorkshire Playhouse, was handed over to contractors BAM Construction yesterday.

Those attending the milestone event included Coun Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, which is contributing £5.6m to the £15.8m cost of the project.

Coun Blake said: “For almost 50 years, the Playhouse has been a cornerstone of culture in Leeds, bringing the city’s communities together and generating huge cultural, social and economic benefits for the people of Leeds.

“This refurbishment will ensure that the Leeds Playhouse can continue to inspire audiences and provide a fitting, modern and sustainable stage for Leeds’s world-class cultural offering for many years to come.”

A pop-up theatre will be hosting a packed season of drama on part of the Leeds Playhouse site during the redevelopment.

It is due to welcome its first audience members next Wednesday, September 5, for a production of Road, a poetic study of everyday lives by Jim Cartwright.