York & North Yorkshire

York Theatre Royal opens after £6m refurbishment

York Theatre Royal illustration Image copyright De Matos Ryan
Image caption The redevelopment is the first major work on the building since the 1960s

A theatre which saw a £6m redevelopment delayed by archaeological work is to reopen to the public.

The Grade II listed York Theatre Royal closed in March 2015 and had planned to resume performances last December.

That date had to be put back after the foundations of the medieval St Leonard's Hospital were found intact beneath the main main auditorium.

The York Conservation Trust, which owns the theatre, said the scheme meant improved access and flexibility.

Its main stage has been reconstructed in a modular form, allowing it to be adapted or removed entirely, which means the venue is now more suitable for touring productions and dance companies.

It is the first significant change to the 270-year-old theatre since a concrete and glass extension was built in 1967.

Image copyright Sira Studio
Image caption The scheme has increased accessibility throughout the building
Image copyright Sira Studio
Image caption It also has improved seating and views of the stage, said the theatre
Image copyright York Archaeological Trust
Image caption The foundations of a medieval hospital were uncovered beneath the theatre's main auditorium delaying the scheme

The project was funded by the Arts Council England, City of York Council and York Conservation Trust with other grants and donations coming from corporate and individual supporters.

A public fundraising campaign also raised around £215,000 towards the costs of the redevelopment.

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