Theatre set for redevelopment with big cash boost

The Stephen Joseph Theatre has received a grant from Arts Council England.
The Stephen Joseph Theatre has received a grant from Arts Council England.

Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre will undergo development after receiving more than £400,000 from Arts Council England.

The one-off capital grant of £419,122 is a large part of an overall capital project of £561,000 for developments to the front of house areas, including better access via an improved passenger lift and wheelchair platform; a new, environmentally-friendly LED lighting system in the Round, which will lower the venue’s energy bills; and various smaller projects.

The theatre has also successfully retained its status as an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation for another four years.

National Portfolio Organisations are the institutions which receive regular annual funding from Arts Council England, and are seen as representing some of the best arts practice in the world.

For the four financial years from 2018 to 2022, the Stephen Joseph Theatre will receive annual funding of £637,715 a year.

Stephen Freeman, The Stephen Joseph Theatre’s chief executive said: “This is brilliant news. The capital grant will enable us to enhance our customer experience enormously.

“The Stephen Joseph Theatre has been in its current venue for 21 years now, and we’re very aware that it needs some refurbishment.

“We want to provide a 21st century theatre-going experience for audiences both new and existing.

“Our ongoing vision will be to complement the unique period features of this building while looking to the future.”

Meanwhile Crescent Arts has big plans to create a new home in Scarborough’s South Bay after being awarded four years of funding from Arts Council England.

The annual funding of £70,000 to Crescent Gardens as a National Portfolio Organisation means the group can look to transform the disused sunbathing building at Children’s Corner near The Spa Complex.

Craig Stott from Leeds Beckett University’s School of Architecture and Co-Director of Project Office will discuss the design proposals in the exhibition CHANGING ROOMS on Saturday July 8 from 2pm-4pm.

Crescent Arts will also aim to form a a creative partnership with the Forestry Commission at Dalby Forest and host an exhibition by internationally acclaimed artist Helen Sear.

Stuart Cameron, director of Crescent Arts, said: “We’re thrilled that Arts Council England is offering annual funding to Crescent Arts for 2018-2022. With continuing support of Scarborough Borough Council, we can celebrate our 40th anniversary in 2019 in style.”