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Royal Court gets £860k Lottery windfall

First phase of £10m scheme to start in February

Published on December 2nd 2011.

Royal Court gets £860k Lottery windfall

THE Royal Court Liverpool Trust has today announced that it is to receive £867,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This money means that the first phase of the £10.6m scheme to refurbish the building will begin on 1 February 2012.

The Royal Court, which in recent times has produced a whole series of "scouse" themed comedies for "a local audience that had not been catered for at other venues" has seen just a couple of production runs this year.

Liverpool_Royal_Court_Theatre_Ahmm130309_2The planIt describes the money as "a great boost for the average person on the street, as well as the city as a whole", while a whole host of notables, including Sir Terry Leahy, Judi Dench and Cherie Booth QC, have been lined up to comment on the news with a figurative three cheers.

Gillian Miller, founder and chief executive of the Royal Court Liverpool Trust says: “It’s a great honour to be able to head up the campaign to renovate one of the city’s best loved buildings.  This grant and vote of confidence from such a nationally important body as the Heritage Lottery Fund means that we can begin to turn our plans for the building into reality."

She added: "We now need to make sure that we get it right for all those who are served by the building. From the older members of our community who enjoy the Royal Variety Lunch Club to the young people who take part in our annual Access All Areas project".

The trust says it has committed to using local firms wherever possible in the renovation scheme and Paul Monoghan, the architect who has drawn up the plans was raised and educated in the city.

A £1 ticket levy was introduced in March 2010 on all tickets to shows at the Royal Court.  This has raised over £200,000 to date which has been used as match funding for the Trust’s second round Heritage Lottery application. The scheme will be phased to ensure that the theatre does not close to audiences for any longer than a few months at a time.

Great and good quotes from the great and the...

Dame Judi Dench CH DBE, Patron of the Royal Court Trust says: “The Royal Court is one of our best loved regional theatres and especially dear to me.  I made my stage debut here as Ophelia in the 50s and it was a wonderful experience."

Judi Dench As OpheliaJudi Dench As OpheliaSir Terry Leahy: “‘This is good news indeed for the Royal Court Theatre, for Liverpool and the North West Region.  There is no doubt that the Heritage Lottery Fund support will help to unlock future funds to ensure that the theatre is completely renovated."

Cherie Booth QC, Campaign Ambassador: ”This is fantastic news. The Royal Court means such a lot to the people of Liverpool. When I went to a production last year, I was delighted to see it so full of people enjoying a fantastic evening wholly produced in Liverpool. This grant will make sure that the building now receives some of the care and attention it so deserves and ensure that generations to come can enjoy the wonderful Royal Court Theatre. Well done to everyone involved!”

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