£26,200 grant for Georgian Theatre Royal to help reopening

Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond.

Richmond’s Georgian Theatre Royal has received a grant of £26,200 from the latest round of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help re-open its doors after months of closure.

Like many other performing arts venues, The Georgian Theatre Royal has been closed for live performances since March 2020 but hopes to launch its Autumn Season in September 2021 with guided tours starting mid-May.

This rescue grant is on top of £52,960 received during the first round of the culture recovery fund in October last year and will continue to support the theatre’s overheads – normally covered by income from ticket sales and other activities – as well as facilitating plans for a successful re-opening.

“We are extremely grateful for this very timely injection of funding,” said Clare Allen, chief executive of The Georgian Theatre Royal.

“The theatre has been incredibly fortunate to receive a number of generous grants and donations during the past 12 months but these have largely been for specific projects or capital works.

“The latest grant will help cover day-to-day running costs as well as kick-starting our cultural activities in the months ahead.”

During the closure period, Richmond’s historic theatre has embarked on an auditorium development programme to provide more comfortable seating as well as improved views of the stage.

This ambitious capital works project – made possible thanks to a generous donation from the Hamish Ogston Foundation – is almost complete and will be ready for the start of the May tours.

“We are really looking forward to the time when we can welcome back visitors, first for tours and then soon after for live performances. There will be so much to see and enjoy, all in a safe and comfortable environment,” said Clare.

“Many people and organisations have supported us during the very uncertain and turbulent times of the past year, from Government agencies to those kind and generous individuals who have sent in donations or declined to accept ticket refunds.

“This support has safeguarded the future of this amazing little theatre and we can feel very optimistic about its future. It has been in existence since 1788 and hopefully it can now continue to serve its community for many decades to come.”

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including The Georgian Theatre Royal in this latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund.