Theatre closer to £2.6m refurb

Murray Edwards, Managing Director of Wakefield's Theatre Royal.
Murray Edwards, Managing Director of Wakefield's Theatre Royal.

THEATRE Royal Wakefield could undergo a £2.6m restoration project in 2014.

The theatre has been given initial backing from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and awarded £152,000 to help towards developing a bid to restore the 1894 Westgate building.

But staff now have to wait until June before they find out whether they will get a further £1.9m towards giving the smallest remaining Frank Matcham Theatre in the country a make-over.

If successful the theatre will still need to find an extra £700,000.

The project will see a full restoration and refurbishment carried out to keep the theatre going for its 70,000 visitors each year.

Theatre Royal Wakefield’s executive director Murray Edwards said: “We are delighted to hear that we have been successful in this first round of funding and support from The Heritage Lottery Fund.

“It shows the faith they have placed in us to deliver a project that will benefit everyone in Wakefield.

“We have a lot of work to do to be successful in the next stage but we are confident that we have a skilled team who can make this happen.”

Fiona Spiers, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “The Theatre Royal Wakefield is a much loved and important landmark in Wakefield. We look forward to seeing the plans develop.”

The restoration project should start in January 2014.