West Yorks revamp to cost £2 million more

Council asked to meet most of extra contractor costs

The revamp of Leed’s West Yorkshire Playhouse is to cost almost £2m more than expected.

A new report to Leeds City Council says the project needs an extra £1.99m on top of the existing £13 million to ciomplete the work because of higher than expected contractor costs.

Councillors have been told that the city council will need to put in an extra £1.44 million, with the theatre expected to find an additional £550,000.

The scheme will create improved access to the theatre and a new city-facing entrance along with a new studio theatre space.

With the 50th anniversary fast approaching in 2020, this refurbishment aims to ensure that people of all ages will have the chance to be inspired and experience the very best that theatre has to offer for many years to come.

Coun Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Working alongside partners, our shared commitment to the vision of a modern, 21st century Playhouse and the huge cultural, social and economic benefits it will bring to the city remains unwavering.

West Yorkshire Playhouse executive director Robin Hawkes said: “The redevelopment of the Playhouse together with the creation of a redeveloped and enhanced public realm and other developments here on Quarry Hill will create a major shift in Leeds’s cultural landscape.”

Leeds plans to hand over its international arts festival to a new trust set up for the purpose. The £35m arts and events programme will be run by Leeds Culture Trust (LCT) – which was originally set up to support the city’s bid to become European Capital of Culture 2023.

This model was developed in the run-up to the European culture bid, as it was thought the judging panel would be sceptical about local authorities delivering proposals if a change in political leadership later occurred.

Before the European bid was cancelled because of Brexit, £750,000 has been spent by private and public sector partners on the bid.


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