The Headgate Theatre is looking forward to re-opening and welcoming audiences back, in line with the government’s plan to ease Covid restrictions. Having been closed since March last year, to help us get started again we have received a significant amount of funding from various sources for which we are incredibly thankful.
The Theatres Trust has awarded the Headgate £5,000 from its Theatre Reopening Fund. The funding from this national public advisory body for theatre has helped with the costs of ensuring the building is Covid-secure. Changes include the provision of screening in public areas (see photos), improvements to ventilation systems and simple measures like purchasing industrial scale cleaning equipment. In 2020 the theatre spent over £1,000 installing sanitisers and other simple Covid measures to ensure hirers and staff alike were safe.
The Theatre Reopening Fund has been made possible thanks to the generous support of funders: Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Charles Michael Holloway Charitable Trust, Judy Craymer CBE, Soho Estates, The Basil Samuel Charitable Trust, The Foyle Foundation, The Mackintosh Foundation, The Pilgrim Trust, The Swire Charitable Trust, Theatre Royal Haymarket and Theatre Super Auction.
The theatre had to divert funds from planned upgrades to the building to survive the catastrophic loss of income caused by the lockdown. In late 2020 the Theatres Trust sponsored a crowdfunding campaign by the Headgate. The ‘virtual bucket shake’ ran during the panto season and raised over £15,000 in donations from supporters to “Help us keep the lights on”.
As a result, the theatre has managed to re-start its improvement plans including the upgrade of the stage sound and lighting system. It has already installed cable for a new digital network and has purchased two new lanterns to replace six that were over 12 years old. With the upgrade plans back on track, the theatre is taking a big step towards greater sustainability by bringing the lighting up to the modern standard of energy efficient LED’s and improving the experience for those with hearing difficulties.
“As well as the donations and the grant, we have been truly touched and appreciative of the fantastic comments left on the Crowdfunder pages. The Headgate is clearly a special place for so many, and it will be for years to come with this money. Both the grant and the Crowdfunder have been a massive boost and we are so thankful to everyone who supported us. The lights will NOT go out – and you can expect great productions, exciting workshops, and friendly welcoming faces.”
Dawn King, Chair of the Management Committee
The theatre is looking forward to the return of the dance and wellbeing groups that used the theatre, followed by performances later in the summer in line with the government’s road map.