Playhouse’s £1m efficiency boost

Nottingham Playhouse is to get an almost £1 million boost from the Arts Council of England from its Capital Investment Programme.

This programme supports 
organisations to develop resilience by giving them the right buildings and equipment to deliver their work, and to 
become more sustainable.

The £996,000 funding has come at a crucial time for Nottingham Playhouse as it sets out to make itself more cost effective and efficient for the next 50 years.

In addition to this grant, the Playhouse and Nottingham City Council have negotiated a new partnership in support of the capital work for the 
theatre.

Opened in 1963, the Grade II* listed building is widely regarded as one of the best British theatre buildings of its time. Its architecture, however, means it is expensive to heat and light. Investment is now needed to upgrade the theatre’s efficiency and to make the building as contemporary now as it was in 1963 –whilst retaining its original identity.

Stephanie Sirr, chief executive of the Playhouse said: “These funds will increase opportunities for performance and participation in a welcoming, sustainable and creative setting. We are grateful to all our supporters and in particular to Sir Harry Djanogly who has made a generous donation to the appeal.”

Nottingham Playhouse’s staff and trustees are delighted at this vote of confidence. The theatre can now focus on spending less managing the building and more on making great theatre.

Peter Knott, area director of the Arts Council England, said: “We are working hard with organisations in the cultural sector to increase their sustainability both financially and ecologically. This award does both and will enable Nottingham Playhouse to ensure that their building is energy efficient and making the best of use of space available. This project demonstrates the theatre’s commitment to finding more environmentally efficient ways of doing business, whilst creating the best value-for-money possible.”

By helping to build a more sustainable theatre that is fit for purpose, the Playhouse will be able to spend more money directly on producing home-grown productions and investing in its audience.”

Whilst the Arts Council funding is fantastic news for the Playhouse, a further £75,000 needs to be raised to carry out all of the essential work, which includes installing 156 solar panels to make the theatre more energy efficient; replacing 50-year old light fittings to reduce a massive 35,000 KW of energy consumption and putting in new door lobbies to reduce heat loss.

As part of this appeal, it will be hosting a Pantomime Gala on December 11.