The Theatres Trust

TBAR Theatre Buildings At Risk


Proscenium arch with Hyde's 'Onward' coat-of-arms, Hyde Theatre Royal, February 2009 The Theatre Buildings At Risk (TBAR) register is the Trust’s means of watching, managing and supporting theatre buildings under threat across the UK.

Developed over several years, the register reflects growing public interest in theatres and the built environment, and a wider acknowledgement of the importance of theatre buildings within each local community.

Unlike the Risk Registers compiled by other organisations, the TBAR covers all four nations and includes all types of theatre building, whether statutory listed, in a Conservation Area, or not listed. This means the Trust can monitor and highlight theatres which are under threat but not afforded any statutory protection. The buildings may be currently in theatre use, in other (permanent or temporary) uses, vacant or derelict.

All theatres on the register form part of our casework year-round, and a theatre may be added to the register at any time. Once a year the register is completely reviewed and revised and its results published.

Read the Theatre Buildings At Risk register 2013 press release

Download the full list of theatres on our Theatre Buildings at Risk Register 2013

View our Theatre Buildings at Risk Register 2013 Postcard of Brighton Hippodrome
View our Theatre Buildings at Risk Register 2013 mini exhibition

2013 Theatre Buildings At Risk register

Merthyr Tydfil Theatre Royal in 1970 A conservative estimate is that there are more than 2,000 extant theatre buildings in the UK - although they are not all in theatre use. In 2013, 48 of these buildings are on the TBAR register – 39 of which are in England, 2in Scotland and 7 in Wales. The lists of theatres can be viewed by using the links below:

England TBAR 2013
Scotland TBAR 2013
Wales TBAR 2013

As in previous years, we have not highlighted any theatres at risk in Northern Ireland in 2013. We are happy that this is the case, and of course we will continue to monitor theatre buildings in Northern Ireland and across all four nations, and as always we welcome any information regarding their status.

Risk criteria

In 2013 we have made a few changes to the way we present the Register. For the first time we are publishing the Risk Values associated with each theatre to explain why some theatres are more at risk than others. The maximum Risk Value a theatre can be assigned is 6, and it is these theatres that sit at the top at risk theatres in the UK, with a rating of maximum three as an assessment of current risks, and another maximum of three for the theatre’s quality and significance.

A theatre building may be at risk for one particular reason, or it may be threatened by a combination of risk factors. More than half of the theatre buildings on the 2013 register have yet to find the financial and political support needed to secure a viable future. We identify nine possible types of risk:

Threat through sale or change of ownership

Difficulties in obtaining capital or revenue funding

Poor quality of operation threatening the continuing or future theatre use of the building

High cost of maintenance or refurbishment works

Local development adversely affecting access to the theatre or restricting future expansion/improvements

Threat of demolition

Alteration to another use – particularly where this involves a change of Use Class

Threat to the building fabric, e.g. decay of a building not in use or the removal of significant features

Threat to the theatre fabric, i.e. irreversible works which may prevent a return to theatre use, or damage to (or removal of) specifically theatrical materials

Morecambe's Winter Gardens Theatre, January 2007

In addition, the theatre buildings are awarded a ‘star rating’, which provides a qualitative judgement on the importance of the theatre in terms of:

Its theatrical quality – for example, excellent sightlines, acoustics, warmth, facilities

Its architectural quality

Its historical significance

Its uniqueness – in relation to the provision of working theatres within the locality

Previous Theatre Buildings At Risk Registers

Theatre Buildings at Risk register 2012

Theatre Buildings At Risk register 2011

Theatre Buildings At Risk register 2010

Theatre Buildings At Risk register 2009

Theatre Buildings At Risk register 2008

Theatre Buildings At Risk register 2007

Auditorium at the Cochrane Theatre, London, September 2007

The Theatres Trust

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London WC2H 0QL

T 020 7836 8591
F 020 7836 3302

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Façade of the former Globe Theatre, Consett, 1998
Globe (Consett)

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The National Advisory Public Body for Theatres