Through its partnership with the Wolfson Foundation, Theatres Trust is awarding around £100,000 to five theatres to be more environmentally sustainable. These awards are made as the Wolfson Foundation announces the renewal of its funding for the Theatre Improvement Scheme, with a further £360,000 to be awarded over the next three years.
Before the pandemic took hold, the biggest challenge facing the theatre sector was responding to the climate crisis and Theatres Trust, the national public advisory body for theatres, is keen that this priority should not slip. Theatres, like all public buildings, have an impact on the environment, with major energy consumption coming from heating, ventilation, stage machinery and lighting and sadly many theatres do not meet modern environmental standards.
The projects supported in this most recent round of funding include installing solar panels, upgrading house lights to more efficient LEDs and replacing the Building Management Systems that control heating, ventilation and energy use. The five theatres receiving funding in this round are Chichester Festival Theatre, Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond, Lyric Theatre Belfast, The Marlowe in Canterbury and Northern Stage in Newcastle.
Jon Morgan, Director of Theatres Trust, comments, Despite the immediate issues caused by Covid-19, it is imperative that we continue to focus on the long-term environmental sustainability of the theatre sector. Environmentally friendly buildings are not just an ethical imperative but a business necessity that can impact a theatre’s viability. The volume and quality of the applications we received for this scheme shows there is a real appetite amongst theatres to make environmental improvements to their buildings, so we are delighted that Wolfson Foundation has renewed this partnership and we’ll be able to help more theatres make vital changes.
Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of Wolfson Foundation says, At this critical moment for the UK’s performing arts sector, we are delighted to be able to renew our partnership with the Theatres Trust for a further three years. The impact of Covid-19 has only increased the importance of taking an environmentally sustainable approach. We hope this funding will encourage theatres across the UK to think about the often small changes that can make a significant difference to environmental impact. Never has it been more important to help theatres improve the viability of their buildings.
The next round of the Theatre Improvement Scheme is now open for applications, with £125,000 to be awarded in grants of up to £20,000 for projects to improve theatres’ sustainability.