Liverpool’s Royal Court
How Theatres Trust has supported Liverpool’s Royal Court with its major capital project.
Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre has been at the heart of the city’s culture for nearly 200 years and is an Art Deco-style, Grade II listed building. Sadly by 2009 the theatre was in extremely poor repair and needed a major capital project to allow it to continue to operate and expand its facilities and reach.
Theatres Trust was involved from the start of the project by advising on charity arrangements, business planning and helping secure a long-term lease on the theatre. We also gave guidance and advice on tendering for architects and planning, as well as providing letters of support to help with fundraising.
The £7.2m capital project was split into three phases. We supported the theatre with grants for a safety curtain and a hearing loop in the first two phases of the project before going on to provide more in-depth support in the final phase.
We led an advisory review for Liverpool’s Royal Court looking at the third part of the capital project. The review looked at architectural and operational issues as well as providing feedback on environmental and construction matters.
The works following the review included improvements to both front of house public facilities and back of house areas, including improved accessibility throughout. The review report was also used to inform the Royal Court’s submission for a second phase of Arts Council England funding.
Since then the theatre has gone from strength to strength and in 2018 was awarded National Portfolio Organisation status from Arts Council England.
In February 2022 we awarded the theatre a grant from our Small Grants Programme with The Linbury Trust to purchase technology to enable people with hearing and visual impairments to access main house and studio theatre productions. These enhanced facilities will support the theatre to reach out to more support groups across Liverpool City region and encourage them to visit the theatre.
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Images courtesy the theatre: top, the exterior of the new foyer extension; mid, an axonometric of proposed use around the building; lower, packed audiences on the upper balcony on the theatre.