Your Theatre Needs You! Play Your Part in Belgrade Theatre’s Redevelopment Project
As Coventry’s year as City of Culture rapidly approaches, plans are now in place to get the Belgrade Theatre fully prepared for an exciting year in 2021, with an ambitious 2020 Redevelopment Project getting underway over the next 18 months.
After securing initial funding from Coventry City Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Theatre is now looking to audiences and supporters to “play a part” in raising the remaining £600,000 needed to reach its £4.8 million target.
Designed to improve facilities and visitor experience, as well as bolstering the theatre’s financial resilience in years to come, the redevelopment project will be divided into three separate phases.
Phase one will be the much-needed refurbishment of its foyers and Main Stage auditorium, part of the Grade II listed, original 1958 building which last year celebrated its 60th anniversary.
Phase two will be the linking up of the ground floor café and first-floor Burbidge Room to create a flexible, combined space for eating, drinking and socialising – an ideal place to grab a bite to eat before a show, or simply to meet up with friends or family for a meal.
The third and final phase of the project will be the transformation of the nearby Jaguar building into a multi-functional “creative talent hub”. Currently sitting empty, the former public house will be repurposed to provide extra space for rehearsing and developing work, making it an invaluable resource for the Belgrade’s various youth and community groups as well as for local emerging artists, such as those supported by the Theatre’s Springboard talent development programme.
Above this space, two self-contained flats will also be available for hire by visiting actors and creatives, providing the Theatre with a useful new revenue stream, allowing more money to be invested back into its work at a time when traditional budgets are under increasing pressure.
Now the Belgrade needs you to help make its plans a reality by getting on board with its biggest public fundraising campaign to date. Any donation, however large or small, will be gratefully received – but Play Your Part is about more than just donating money. This is an exciting opportunity get involved in a sea-change moment in the city’s history and leave your stamp on the Theatre for years to come.
A whole range of support options are available starting from just £5, with a range of perks including the opportunity to have your name featured on the steps of the new restaurant space, receive exclusive updates on the project, enjoy sneak previews of the work you’ve helped to fund before anyone else gets to see it, and more.
There will also be regular opportunities to win your money back by entering a monthly Play Your Part lottery. By donating just £5, you can choose to be entered into a prize draw to take home 20% of the total money raised through the lottery that month. Full terms and conditions can be found at belgrade.co.uk/playyourpart.
Supporters who would like to go the extra mile are also encouraged to get creative and help organise their own sponsored events and activities. If you have an idea you’d like to discuss with the Belgrade’s fundraising team, please email [email protected] or call 02476 846 750.
Meanwhile, businesses can choose between between becoming a Diamond Donor for £2,020, gaining access to number of additional benefits; or opting for a bespoke package for £3000 or more, enjoying invitations to exclusive events and a wide variety of opportunities to get closer to performances.
Belgrade Theatre Head of Development Helen Hotchkiss said: “This is an incredibly exciting time to live and work in Coventry and we’re particularly proud of all the community, education and talent development work we do at the Belgrade.
“With Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture less than two years away, the 61-year-old Theatre is in need of some refurbishment in order to be a sparkling gem for 2021 and beyond. Our redevelopment project will offer audiences a more enjoyable experience and provide more flexible and innovative spaces for the communities we serve.
“However, as a registered charity (number 219163), we’re reliant on the kind support of audiences, members, funders, corporate partners and donors, so this year, we’re calling on everyone to play their part and support our 2020 Redevelopment Project Thank you.”
Created for the people of Coventry and Warwickshire as part of the rebuilding of the city after the Second World War, the Belgrade Theatre has a long and proud history of working closely with the communities it serves to break new ground and instigate change in the city and beyond. Play Your Part aims to further cement the Theatre’s relationship with these communities, empowering them be part of its history and the legacy of 2021.
Photo Credit: Nicola Young