Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Portsmouth's New Theatre Royal receives £1m

Portsmouth's New Theatre Royal has received a grant of almost £1m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The funding will contribute towards the repair and restoration of the Grade II listed building which was damaged by fire in 1972.

The theatre's director Caroline Sharman said: "This is great news for those who worked tirelessly over 40 years to keep this beautiful theatre alive."

A new learning centre will be dedicated to late director Anthony Minghella.

His sister Gioia Minghella said: "A really vibrant cultural learning space will make a most fitting, living memorial to him, and especially in Portsmouth, where he himself was educated and spent so much of his youth".

The £939,900 grant will also be used in collaboration with the University of Portsmouth to improve the stage house, orchestra pit and offices.

The seating capacity will be increased from 500 to 695 to accommodate touring West End productions.

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