Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre is among 66 arts organisations across England receiving grants for capital projects to help secure their post-pandemic future.
The theatre will spend £551,200 on improving access for audiences and for participants in its outreach work, including equipment and technology upgrades.
The grant will allow the theatre to proceed with several projects for the long term, including rooftop solar panels and a new electrically-powered van to replace an existing diesel version. A long-planned air cooling system will also be installed to improve audience comfort.
There are also plans to reinstate the theatre’s projection room and install a new projector, allowing films to be shown in the main auditorium. There are plans to run a series of classics, aimed at audiences similar to those of the theatre's Variety Lunch Club.
Another part of the grant will be spent on upgrading audio description equipment and buying a captioning system to make all shows more accessible to those with hearing difficulties.
Chief executive Gillian Miller said: “Support will enable us to purchase more equipment for our theatre set-building workshop in Everton, an electric van for touring to schools and to reinstate the projector room in our beautiful art deco theatre auditorium, so we can develop a daytime film programme.
"The funding will also help us to make the theatre more accessible and welcoming for audiences and participants and improve our unique theatre experience for all..”
The Royal Court is among the first recipients of Arts Council England’s new capital investment programme, announced last year and designed to enable cultural institutions and companies to respond to the impact of Covid-19.
The 66 organisations will share £22.7 million, 78 per cent of which will be spent outside London. Eleven theatre organisations have been given grants, including Birmingham Hippodrome, which receives £400,000, and New Theatre, Peterborough which has been awarded £303,910.