The Theatres Trust

2014 Theatre Buildings At Risk register

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 2014, 33 of these buildings are on the TBAR register – 28 of these are in England and 5 in Wales. The lists of theatres can be viewed below:

England TBAR 2014

Wales TBAR 2014

View the full TBAR Register 2014

Read the Press Release

Read the Theatres Magazine article

As in previous years, we have not highlighted any theatres at risk in Northern Ireland in 2014. We are happy that this is the case, and will continue to monitor theatre buildings in Northern Ireland and across all four nations. As always we welcome any information regarding their status. We are also pleased that no theatres in Scotland are considered to be at risk this year.

Changes to the 2014 register

The first notable change to the Register 2014 is the reduction in the total number of theatres from 48 in 2013, to 33. This is in part because we have focused the Register on those facing risks now or in the relatively short-term. A number of theatres have therefore been removed. However, this does not mean that we take our eye off theatres no longer on the Register as our team continues to support those working longer-term to secure the future or suitable replacement of these theatres.

View the theatres that have been removed from TBAR in 2014

In light of the outcomes of the Trust’s Conference 14: Community Theatres, we have also revisited the risk ratings to reflect the growing importance of Community Rights in the protection of theatres. To this end we have added a further rating system to highlight the relationship of a theatre building at risk to its community.

This means that we look at three factors when considering the importance and identification of a theatre at risk – the risks to the building itself – the Building Risk rating, the quality of the theatre building – the Star Theatre rating, and the value of the theatre to its local community – the Community Theatre rating. Each carries a maximum score of three, so the maximum Risk Value a theatre can be assigned is 9. For inclusion in the Register a theatre must score 4 or above.

The risk criteria are explained in further detail below.

Risks to the building

Theatres are assessed and given a ‘Building Risk rating’ of 0 to 3 depending on the number of low, medium, or high levels of risk identified against certain risk criteria. These are:


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

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

Threat through sale or change of ownership

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

Difficulties in obtaining capital or revenue funding

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

High cost of maintenance or refurbishment works

Quality of the theatre

A further ‘Star Theatre rating’ of 0 to 3 is also applied which makes a qualitative judgment on the importance of the theatrical qualities of a theatre. These include its architectural quality, workability as a theatre, historical features, and geographical uniqueness. Three points are awarded where it is a very fine theatre, of the highest theatrical quality; two points are given to a fine theatre which is an excellent example of its type; one point is given to a theatre which is of some interest or quality; and no points are applied to a building which is of lesser interest, half complete, irretrievably altered, or a complete but unremarkable theatre.

Community Value

This year, in light of the growing importance of the role of theatres in their community we have added a further ‘Community Theatre rating’. The aim of this rating is to establish community demand for the retention and protection of the theatre – as a theatre. Three points are awarded where there is clear community demand for its use as a theatre; two points are given to a theatre where without it there would be no community theatre or reuse as local cultural/community facility; one point is awarded to a building where there is potential for its future as a community theatre; and no points are applied to a building which would have a future in uses other than as a theatre.

View the Trust’s TBAR 2014 England

View the Trust’s TBAR 2014 Wales

View the theatres that have been removed from TBAR 2014

Read the full Press Release

The Theatres Trust

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The Royal Box at the Coliseum, London, circa 1905
London Coliseum

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