94% of funds raised for theatre



York Theatre Royal closed its doors on Tuesday 17 March as work began to transform the front of house and auditorium areas. The re-development will cost £4.1 million and in October 2014 the theatre launched a Public Fundraising Appeal to raise the last £500,000 still needed. Since then a wide range of groups and members of the public have donated their time and money and York Theatre Royal is pleased to announce that 94% of the £4.1 million has now been raised.

This leaves £217,000 left to find and the theatre is once again asking York residents to help raise the last amount.

The response from the public in York to the Theatre Royal appeal has been extraordinary. Individuals, community groups, schools and colleges have devised the most imaginative ways to raise money for the theatre. We are so close to the final target so everything that people give now makes such a difference. So if anyone has ever been to a show here, had a meeting in our cafe, enjoyed a bite to eat with friends, or taken part in a workshop and is yet to donate, we would really appreciate their support. A little goes a long way.

Said Liz Wilson, Chief Executive of York Theatre Royal.

Schools have put on fundraising concerts in the theatres historic De Grey Rooms Ballroom, people have donned fancy dress for the day, community groups have made and sold crafts, students have been selling doughnuts, and thousands of pounds was raised during panto season as Berwick Kaler urged audiences to donate to bucket collections after each show.

Two days before the closure, the theatre hosted an Open Day which was attended by over 1,500 people, and raised over £4,000, with a number of people Naming a Seat that will feature in the new auditorium for 10 years.

Barry Male, a member of the public who attended, commented

Fascinating Open Day – I think it will massively increase the sense of community ‘ownership’ and goodwill.

The key parts of the redevelopment project will include:-

The glazing-in of the colonnade and opening up the space around what is now Exhibition Corridor to create new and more spacious welcome areas as well as improving the audience flow around the building.

The reconfiguration of the Stalls area of the auditorium and the stage to create much better views for audiences.

The addition of a foyer lift to improve access around the space and also to provide new seating areas for wheelchair users in the Dress Circle.

To be a greener and more sustainable organisation.

Allow the Theatre to make the best possible use of the space to maximise income and help secure its financial future.

People can donate £5 or £10 by texting YTRC15 £5 or YTRC15 £10 to 70070 or donate online at justgiving.com/yorktheatreroyal/donate/. To name a seat call the Box Office on 01904 623568. For more information, please visit www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/donate.