£6.5M for King’s

July 30, 2021 | By | Reply More

Refurb dates now set for Sept 2022-July 2024

Edinburgh’s King’s theatre has secured £6.5 million in grants from the Scottish Government and is now set to go dark from September 2022 until July 2024 for a major £25 million redevelopment.

The plans had to be put on hold during the pandemic, with their future in doubt due to the “double jeopardy” situation placed on Capital Theatres. The extensive fund it had built up over many years for the project meant it could not access Covid relief funds, but to spend it would leave it unable to proceed.

Artist’s impression of how the front of the King’s Theatre will appear after its refurbishment. Photo: Bennetts Associates

The redevelopment is seen as a crucial for the future of the venue. Without it, its dilapidated infrastructure would further deteriorate and, without being able to support modern touring productions it, faced the prospect of closing permanently.

Announcing the grant, Fiona Gibson, CEO of Capital Theatres which runs the venue, said: “We’re overjoyed with this show of support and confidence in the King’s Redevelopment Project from the Scottish Government.

“As COVID 19 hit in March 2020, Capital Theatres announced that the redevelopment of the King’s would be paused for a year whilst we dealt with the impact of the pandemic. Far from lose momentum on the project, 15 months of closure has made us all the more determined to ensure the King’s Theatre can honour its illustrious past with a thriving future at the heart of Edinburgh and Scotland’s cultural life.”

modernise

The redevelopment will modernise the existing backstage facilities and transform the front of house experiences of visitors, local communities, performers and staff, whilst preserving the King’s unique heritage interiors.

The theatre will be dark from the end of the 2022 Festivals, through the 2022 and 2023 pantomime seasons to reopen in the summer of 2024, in time for the 2024 August Festivals.

Cross section of proposed King’s Theatre refurbishment. Image: Bennetts Associates

Capital Theatres say that their plans will ensure the theatre remains a vital part of Edinburgh and Scotland’s cultural provision, as well as functioning as a community hub for years to come.

This grant joins £4 million already secured from the City of Edinburgh Council along with additional loan funding. The rest of the budget is made-up of generous donations from individuals, grants from trusts and foundations, support from companies and Capital Theatres’ own contribution from ticket income.

Alongside this an application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund is currently moving into its second stage.

The next phase of funding the project will be a public campaign to fundraise for the remaining £3 million.

cultural treasure

Gibson added: “There is, however, still a way to go to reach our financial target and we’ll be launching a public fundraising campaign later in the year.

“This last push will build on the generous support shown during our period of closure, so the people of Edinburgh and Scotland can continue to play their part by helping us secure the future of the King’s as a historical and cultural treasure.”

Kings Theatre Interior. Pic: Capital Theatres

ENDS

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