Huddersfield’s Lawrence Batley Theatre has launched a campaign to pay its share of the first major improvement work since Dame Judi Dench and Sir Patrick Stewart laid the foundation stone in 1994.
The theatre, now in its 26th year, needs to raise the final £50,000 to add to an Arts Council England grant of around £500,000 made in November 2019. Readers can make a donation here.
The theatre is due to close for the work in early summer, after a 12-month delay caused by the pandemic.
LBT - named after a local entrepreneur - is the home of live performance in Huddersfield and the wider Kirklees area. Around 85 per cent of its audience is local to the area.
The stone facade of the 1819-built, grade-II listed former Queen Street Methodist Chapel fronts a 450-seat theatre, and smaller spaces, offering a wide range of plays, comedy and other performances all year round, including a healthy range of local and community entertainment.
During the closure the front of house area will be improved and the auditorium will get new seating, offering improved sightlines and better accessibility for disabled and elderly patrons. Behind the scenes, many items of technical equipment will be upgraded.
Six dressing rooms will be renovated - one for wheelchair access - in expectation of offering a more diverse range of attractions and performers. Greater community Involvement will be possible with the development of a currently disused part of the building.
A special programme of events will reopen the theatre’s new season in September - hopefully without the necessity of pandemic restrictions.
Find out more about LBT here.