Theatre Royal Winchester looking forward to refurbishment

Ben Friedrich of Hampshire Partitioning, Deryck Newland (Chief Executive, Live Theatre Winchester Trust), Simon Spearing (Operations Director, Theatre Royal Winchester) and Jon Skipper (Principal Architect, Hampshire County Council Architects)

Live Theatre Winchester Trust – the charity behind Theatre Royal Winchester and Hat Fair – is excited to announce that the theatre’s foyer is to undergo a significant refurbishment this summer.

The charity has been working with Hampshire County Council’s award winning architect team to create a re-configured foyer with a sleek new look that will transform the building into a vibrant, inclusive and accessible hub. The refurbishment will also enable the theatre to host even more vibrant events and activities in the improved bar area and will improve the overall customer experience.

The work has been made possible in part thanks to generous investment by Hampshire County Council, as well as support from the Garfield Weston Foundation, Backstage Trust, and Foyle Foundation.

Chandlers Ford based contractors, Hampshire Partitioning, will be working with the Live Theatre Winchester Trust and Hampshire County Council architect team to realise the plans. Work starts on Monday 8 July and will extend throughout the summer, with the new look revealed in September. 

Deryck Newland, Chief Executive of Live Theatre Winchester Trust, said:

‘We are committed to encouraging as many as people as possible to feel that the Theatre Royal can be for them and this redevelopment aims to achieve that. We are delighted that Hampshire County Council are working so closely with us. They clearly see the benefit of vibrant cultural buildings as a key part of what makes a place attractive and prosperous and what helps make the people who live and work there happier.’

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Keith Mans, said:

‘We are pleased to have been able to contribute £375,000 to these improvements at Winchester’s Theatre Royal, which is a hugely important and popular community facility – welcoming more than 70,000 visitors per year to performances, and supporting more than 300 young people regularly through the year with music, theatre and dance activities. Our in-house multi-disciplinary design team has brought their wealth of experience of designing community facilities to yet another public landmark, and we look forward to the completed works.’

The theatre’s Box Office will temporarily move next door to Winchester Discovery Centre for the duration of the work. The theatre has a number of performances during the summer which will go ahead as planned with the contractors downing tools and theatre staff set to escort audiences safely in to the auditorium.

The opening hours of the theatre’s temporary Box Office will remain the same, 10am – 5pm, as will its phone number – 01962 840 440.

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