Playhouse Plans to Progress
Architectural designs for the Derry Playhouse refurbishment unveiled
One of the largest art centres in Ireland, Derry's award-winning Playhouse, is currently being refurbished at a total cost of £4.3 million.
Plans for the flagship arts centre, based in two historic listed buildings, launched in the Playhouse’s temporary home, St Columb’s Hall.
The buildings - which featured in the BBC's Restoration programme - are being completely refurbished, with the addition of a large extension including additional workshop spaces, incubation units, a new reception area, lifts, toilets, and bar.
Funders for the refurbishment project include the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. Pauline Ross, Founder and Director of the Playhouse stated:
'The Playhouse is delighted to launch our architectural plans and sponsorship campaign for Artillery Street. It only seems a blink of an eye from when the Playhouse set up in these wonderful buildings in 1992, and although they have been bustling with activity ever since, these much loved buildings were in need of major renovation.
'Through our fundraising, which started way back in 2000, it is pleasing to see the wide range of funders who have invested in this flagship project.
'This project is unique not only in relation to the investment in arts but also for the restoration of two historic listed buildings, as well as the direct economic impact, which will result in job creation directly and indirectly. We all look forward to the start of 2009 when we move back up to the buildings, and thank everyone for their continued support.'
Endorsing the Playhouse’s sponsorship campaign Minister Poots of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure commented:
'Through their own efforts the Playhouse has secured the funding needed to completely redevelop its theatre within their historic buildings on the city’s walls. It is a great credit to them that these buildings will now be preserved for future generations and they deserve our thanks for that.
'As part of the funding package they are contributing approximately £160k of their own resources towards the cost of this project. For a ‘Not for Profit’ arts sector organisation that is a significant commitment.
'The Playhouse plays an important role in the commercial and social life of [Derry] city and it is in everyone’s interest to have a sustainable and vibrant theatre in the future. I strongly encourage the local business community and local philanthropists, as well as the City Council, to get behind the Playhouse Sponsorship Campaign and help make the Playhouse’s vision a reality.'