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Newcastle theatre awarded accessibility grant

Published: 11 February 2019
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre and Opera House has been awarded funding from the Theatre Improvement Scheme ‘Improving Accessibility’ grants, from the Theatres Trust in partnership with the Wolfson Foundation.

“Everyone should be able to enjoy the full experience a trip to the theatre offers, regardless of their access requirements,” said Tom Stickland, Theatres Adviser at the Theatres Trust. “With this funding, we are able to support seven great projects and 13 theatres around the country, who, by working with their audiences, have found meaningful solutions that allow better access—and that show other theatres how they too can better cater for their audiences’ needs and make theatre going more accessible.”

Thanks to the grant, disabled audience members at Tyne Theatre, one of the few Grade I listed theatres in the country, will have better access to front of house, toilet and Grand Circle facilities because of internal reconfiguration.

"Wolfson has a strong commitment to supporting people with disabilities and removing barriers to their participation in all elements of society,” said Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive, Wolfson Foundation. “We also have a long-term commitment to the performing arts, including through our fruitful partnership with the Theatres Trust. I am delighted that this year’s funding partnership brings these two elements together, and we are enormously grateful to the Theatres Trust for its expertise in administering this programme so adroitly.”

Joanne Johnson, Director of the Tyne Theatre, added, “The Tyne Theatre and Opera House is one of the few Grade I listed theatres in the country, a Victorian gem, owned and operated by the Preservation Trust, and is an important asset for the community. Thanks to the Theatres Improvement Scheme Improving Accessibility grant, we will carry out several works to improve accessibility and disabled audience members experience of the theatre.”