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Landmark Playhouse proposals to go before planning chiefs

Proposals to transform and modernise the West Yorkshire Playhouse through a landmark refurbishment project will go before the city’s senior planning officials.

Members of Leeds City Council’s city plans panel will consider initial proposals for a multi-million pound revamp of the popular Leeds theatre at a meeting next week.

The plans, submitted by Leeds City Council with support from the Playhouse, will deliver improved access to the theatre, a new city-facing entrance and the addition of a new studio theatre space in the Rock Void.

Next week’s meeting will see members receive a pre-application report, providing further details on how the final designs and plans will look ahead of a full planning application being considered later this year.

Last year the council appointed award-winning Page \ Park Architects to lead on the designs for the theatre revamp.

The architects have previously designed improvements for The Centre for Contemporary Arts and the Theatre Royal in Glasgow and Eden Court Theatre in Inverness.

West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Executive Director Robin Hawkes added:

“These plans mark the next step in the Playhouse’s evolution towards becoming the 21st Century theatre that Leeds deserves.
We have a vision for an inspiring and fully accessible building which stands proudly in the City’s prestigious Quarry Hill cultural quarter and complements and enhances the experience of seeing work here.

Leeds has never been richer and more diverse in the scale and nature of its theatre and dance scene and the Playhouse is committed to supporting and showcasing the best the City has to offer towards 2023 and beyond.”

This latest step follows the council’s successful initial application to Arts Council England (ACE) which was followed by an invitation to now make a further application for a grant of £6.3m towards the cost of the project.

If the stage two application is successful, construction work will begin on site in 2018.

The project is expected to see the council commit £3.5m towards the cost of the refurbishment of the theatre building when the proposals are presented to the council’s Executive Board in June 2017.

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