Malvern Theatres has been awarded a landmark planning decision to build a workshop and rehearsal studio space on Grange Road.
The Studio will allow Malvern Theatres to improve and expand its education and community ‘Take Part’ programme, providing life changing participation opportunities for people of all ages and abilities in its community.
The build will be the first major construction for the theatre since its Lottery Funded transformation 21 years ago, which secured the theatre’s place as one of the country’s leading regional venues.
The new build will have a Changing Places facility, the first in the district, for people who cannot use standard toilets and who require the assistance of a height adjustable changing bench and a hoist.
Chief Executive Nic Lloyd oversaw the last rebuild as one of his first major projects and ten of his original team are still by his side today.
Mr Lloyd said: “We are delighted with this planning decision and are excited for what it means for the future of the theatre.
“Malvern Theatres is the lifeblood of the town and this extension will help ensure that everyone in our community, no matter what age or ability, can engage with the arts in a meaningful way.
“Over a quarter of a million people need Changing Places toilets to enable them to enjoy the everyday activities that many of us take for granted. This facility will not only allow more people to use the theatre with confidence, but visitors can also better experience everything else Malvern has to offer.”
Malvern Theatres’ current participation classes, such as dance for the over 55s and creative arts for people with disabilities, are oversubscribed and often have to be held in public spaces including the bar, working around the performance schedule.
The Studio will provide a purpose built space that will allow the theatre to do more and different classes and workshops at different times of day, including evenings.
The Studio will be fully accessible so people of all abilities can use it comfortably. It will also serve as a rehearsal space both for Malvern Theatres own Young Company and visiting professional companies.
The build is expected to cost around £1million and Malvern Theatres has so far secured grants from Malvern Hills District Council, the Arts Council, The Kay Trust, The Backstage Trust, the Rowlands Trust, The Edward Cadbury Trust and The Saintbury Trust.
Malvern Theatres will be making more grants and trust applications, as well as launching a public campaign.
To donate to Love Malvern Theatres appeal contact firstname.lastname@example.org.