Competition for building works opens as Everyman secures funding for theatre development

The region’s biggest construction firms are expected to compete in the eagerly awaited contest to rebuild the Everyman theatre in Liverpool. The winning contractor will build a new three-storey theatre with office and rehearsal space in works valued at £13.5m. This will form part of the £28m overall redevelopment of the famous theatre on Hope Street

The theatre has announced that the full £28m for the project has now been secured, with £16.8m from Arts Council England, £2.5m previously invested by the Northwest Regional Development Agency and a £5.9m investment from the ERDF. Described last year by Liverpool City Council Leader Joe Anderson as “a vital redevelopment for the City’s future” the project is due to start in August this year, with the new “21st century” Everyman opening in 2013.

Deborah Aydon, Executive Director Everyman and Playhouse Theatres said: “After ten years of planning and many funding setbacks we are absolutely delighted to reach this point. We are enormously grateful to the funders and to other supporters such as the City Council, who have made this happen by working together. In just a few months we will be on site, working to create an inspiring new Everyman for generations to come.”

new-everyman-sketchThe official closing date for the Everyman will be Saturday 2 July with a special production from Slung Low who brought Anthology to Hope St during the summer of 2010. The last major production in the current Everyman, Macbeth, with David Morrissey and Jemma Redgrave, opens on 6 May and will now be extended by one week to Saturday 11 June due to exceptionally high demand. The final month will also see performances from The Mersey Sound poets Roger McGough and Brian Patten (20 June), and legendary band and Everyman favourites Deaf School, who came together on Hope Street in the 1970s. They will host two concerts on 17 & 18 June.

“Saying farewell to our much loved theatre will be a profoundly moving event for all who have worked and performed here and indeed for the people of Liverpool. We hope that our planned events will honour the thousands of memories the Everyman contains but feel secure that its new incarnation will prove to be an even greater resource for our audiences, youth theatre, communities and artists of the future.” Gemma Bodinetz, Artistic Director, Everyman and Playhouse Theatres

From mid-May onwards there will be tours of the theatre and opportunities to see and discuss the designs for the new Everyman, and throughout the redevelopment there will be regular updates as the new theatre takes shape.

Ian Tabbron, Senior Manager Funding Programmes for Arts Council England said: “Arts Council England is delighted to be part of the strong partnership ensuring that the new Everyman will be a leader in 21st century theatre. Liverpool as a city is consolidating its distinctive place in the history of British theatre.”

For the remaining £2.1m project costs, the theatres have already raised over £700,000 from private trusts and foundations and the appeal for the remaining funds will begin this autumn. This will include raising a parallel fund for investment in new talent, giving supporters and donors the opportunity to ensure that future generations of talent in the city are nurtured and sustained beyond the completion of the new building.

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