Built in 1976 Theatr Clwyd is Wales’ largest producing theatre, with all of our making departments in house. This means that we build and paint the sets that you see on our stages and our incredible wardrobe team make the elaborate costumes for the actors to wear.
However a survey in 2010 found that it was falling apart, something we were only too aware of, and predicted that the building didn’t have many years left before it would need to close. Fast forward to 2016 with the appointment of Tamara Harvey and Liam Evans- Ford and they made it their mission to save Theatr Clwyd and make sure that future generations will be able to call this incredible building home.
With the support of Welsh Government, Flintshire County Council and Arts Council of Wales we have been able to create a project that not only saves the building but also updates and future proofs it so that we can use the building in ways that would not have been thought of in the 1970’s when it was built.
Front of House
We are going to take advantage of the fantastic views that we have at Theatr Clwyd and make sure that the visitor experience matches the quality of the work that you see on our stages.
With an extension at the front and a brand-new terrace and restaurant on the first floor, Theatr Clwyd will be the perfect place to have a pre theatre meal or drink and downstairs their will be a grab and go café and shop where you can buy your playscripts and local papers and for families there will be an indoor and outdoor play area for children to enjoy.
Arts, Health and Wellbeing
We are growing our Arts, Health and Wellbeing programme. Working with the local health board and specialist health charities we have developed a programme of activities such as Arts from the Armchair and Dance for Parkinson’s that support people living with health conditions through the arts. We also work in partnership with City of Sanctuary and have become a Theatre of Sanctuary, creating a supportive home for people seeking refuge and asylum. By using the power of the arts we know we can support more people living through challenges in their lives and the specialist arts, health and wellbeing suite will house these programmes. Leading off the suite will be a sensory garden providing a moment of calm in an often chaotic world.
The youth hub at Theatr Clwyd will be the space where young people can rehearse, learn and play. It will be a space just for them building on all of the incredible work with young people that already takes place. This will be a dedicated facility that they will design for their needs and that we can use for our work with social services supporting some of the most vulnerable young people living in Flintshire.
The Makers and Creators
We haven’t forgotten those people that make the work on our stages and alongside bringing the workshop back home (currently based in rented facilities offsite) we will have a new double height rehearsal room. A learning studio for theatre makers and creators to invest in their own development and updated backstage facilities so that we can attract the highest quality talent to our theatre on top of a hill. The redevelopment of Theatr Clwyd will ensure that we will not only be the biggest producing theatre in Wales but also a home for developing Welsh talent.
There is nothing more important than tackling the climate change emergency but with touring shows and big buildings (Theatr Clwyd is the same size as London’s, The National) this can be a challenge. However the new building will be gas free, collect rain water to flush toilets, have a green living wall, two new air source heat pumps and the infrastructure to support solar photovoltaic cells across 1,000m² of roof space. The project aims to be one of the first high-profile examples of a carbon zero cultural venue in the UK.
You can find out more about the team behind this incredible redevelopment here.
The redevelopment has been supported by Welsh Government, Flintshire County Council and Arts Council of Wales and through donations from private funders. We have a fundraising target of £5 million and having surpassed the £4 million we have recently launched our public fundraising campaign where there are lots of ways to get involved from naming one of our 1970’s original tiles to hosting your own coffee morning. Find out how you can get involved here.
If you would like to find out more about the redevelopment and how you can support it please contact Claire Pilsbury, Head of Development.
All redevelopment images by Haworth Tompkins