Royal Court holds exhibition of new theatre design

The Royal Court Liverpool Trust is holding a free public exhibition of its plans for the renovation of the art deco Grade 2-listed theatre this week in a RIBA Architruck on Williamson Square in the city centre.

The exhibition is running from Tuesday 3 May until Saturday 7 May and will be open to the public from 11am until 4pm each day.

Paul Monaghan, partner at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, the architect behind the new design, said: "We are delighted to be able to show the public how our plans for the theatre have developed since we won the competition to work with the Trust in 2009.

"We have consulted with the public, teachers, theatre audiences and staff to create the best we can for the building. We are proud of our plans for this iconic building which is such an important part of Liverpool's cultural life. The exhibition will give the public an opportunity to see our final plans and learn more about the rich history of the Royal Court and tell us what they think."

There will be a model of the theatre showing each floor as it will be once the renovation is complete.

The RIBA Architruck is a purpose-built mobile space with full access to the public. The exhibition will be staffed by volunteers and there will be a chance to sign up to become a Royal Court volunteer at the exhibition.

A development grant of £116,200 was awarded from Heritage Lottery Fund last year towards the scheme.

Gillian Miller, chief executive and founder of the Royal Court Trust, added: "AHMM's scheme has really developed since we were awarded the Heritage Lottery first round pass in September 2010. This gave us the funds to develop the scheme to RIBA Stage D. The building has been crawling with structural engineers, M&E consultants, access consultants and cost consultants since the beginning of the year. Design team meetings have taken place every two weeks and we are all really excited about the final plans for the theatre. Of course the hard bit comes now and we need to raise the funds. Having such a brilliant scheme gives us all the confidence that we can succeed."

In November 2010, the Royal Court Trust was granted a long lease on the building of 30 years from Liverpool City Council, which allowed the trust to start to access public funds and other sources of support such as private trust funds and foundations.

A £1 ticket levy was introduced in March 2010 on all tickets to shows at the Royal Court, which has raised over £80,000 to date and will be used as match funding for the trust's second round Heritage Lottery application.

If successful at second round, the trust said it will have raised over £1m and will begin renovation work early next year. The whole scheme will cost over £10m and be phased to ensure that the theatre does not close to audiences for any longer than a few months at a time.

The Royal Court Trust was formed in 2008 to look after the building.

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