Contact Theatre Secures Art Council Funding for Renovation in 2017

At TSOTA we’re big fans of Manchester’s Contact Theatre. Anyone who’s been to visit will have no doubt been impressed by their commitment to foster young creative minds locally, nationally and internationally and cultivate diversity on stage, in the audience and in subject matter. The theatre has recently received confirmation from Arts Council England for funding of £3.85 million towards its capital refurbishment, a £6.5 million project which endeavours to renovate the building for the next generation of audiences, artists and young people.

The building will see its interior transformed, with new performance and community spaces, an expansion of the café and bar area and re-configuration of the space to improve access and navigation. Funding will also go towards updating the facilities in the venue, including its technical and digital infrastructure and support for young people’s talent and leadership activities. Already boasting an impressive natural ventilation system, further renovations will secure Contact as one of the UK’s leading theatres in sustainability. The transformations will begin in April 2017 and see the theatre closed for a year, with its programme to be continuing at different locations through the city.

The renovation process has kept young people at the core of its decision-making and leadership, entrusting them with valuable responsibility and experience in running interview panels with architects, giving tours to stakeholders and participating in consultations about the refurbishment.  Two groups of young people are on board playing a key role in the development: Re:CON, Contact’s young programmers and producers, and I:CON, Contact’s young marketers, are contributing to planning the year’s events programme and informing communications around the capital project, branding and website development.

“Our capital programme is about backing really exciting proposals to allow our arts and cultural organisations to thrive, for the benefit of artists and audiences,” said Alison Clark, Director North and National Director, Combined Arts, Arts Council England. “It will also help further strengthen Contact’s national role as a centre of excellence for the development of young leaders in the arts,” he added.

The support from Arts Council England will be added to funding already pledged by The Garfield Weston, Foyle and Granada foundations have already pledged generous funding support for the capital project, with Bruntwood and The University of Manchester further supporting project development.