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Theatres Trust announces winning theatres In Spend a Penny campaign

UK – Theatres Trust has announced the eight theatres selected to receive £15,000 each from the Spend a Penny campaign, financed by the philanthropic chairman of Albourne Partners, Simon Ruddick.

Deeply empathetic of his wife’s complaints about the ladies’ loos in many theatres, this theatre-going entrepreneur decided last summer to do something, and offered the funding to Theatres Trust to make a start on the improvement of facilities for women primarily, but also gender neutral and unisex toilets. Submissions for these grants were received at the end of October, and after thorough scrutiny the following theatres have been selected: Shelley Theatre Bournemouth, Darlington Hippodrome, Liverpool Royal Court, Little Angel Theatre Islington, London Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, Tyne Theatre and Opera House Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Stephen Joseph Theatre Scarborough and Theatre Royal Wakefield.

An incredible variety of theatres throughout England have been successful – ranging from a small community theatre in Dorset to the Grade I listed Tyne Theatre and Opera House in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The projects too are varied, some involve major re-workings, whilst others involve a more creative use of existing space.

The scheme attracted a lot of media attention when it was originally announced last summer, but now the hard work begins and in at least eight venues and communities, ladies (and in the case of Little Angel, girls) will have a more agreeable theatre going experience in future. Simon Ruddick says: “Although my original impulse was simply to ‘lift the lid’ on this specific issue, we hope that other donors will bear in mind the contribution that theatres make to the community and the contribution that the Theatres Trust makes to the community of theatres.”

9th January 2017

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