Project information

INSPIRE: Centre for Creativity

With your help, the new Centre for Creativity will open next spring. The Big Give is doubling any donations from £5 - £5,000 to fit out the new Studio Theatre. Donors who give £50, £125 and £500 will receive a star form to name your star alongside John Godber, Tim Vine, Jason Donavan and Chris Kamara

June 2017 - April 2018

Charity information: Wakefield Theatre Trust

Wakefield Theatre Trust logo
  • Need


    The Wakefield district is currently served by the beautiful Victorian grade II* Theatre Royal Wakefield, home to a performance programme of pantomime, musical theatre and variety, as well as an extensive programme of learning activity. With 265 performances a year, and more than 200 people taking part in learning programmes, the existing building is at capacity.
    We need new space to expand the number of performances, to increase the offer to more young people and to develop new audiences.


    The Theatre is developing a new ‘Centre for Creativity’ on the neighbouring derelict land. The building will inspire the next generation of young performers. It will provide performance, rehearsal, learning and hospitality spaces in a contemporary building, built with accessibility at its heart. It will add to the offer of quality entertainment and engagement in Wakefield. With work started on site, the Theatre is now fundraising to fit out the new Studio Theatre to attract high quality acts.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increase the size and reach of our family audiences making the Theatre fully accessible


    » Improve the offer to our family pantomime audience by providing family-friendly performances all year round
    » Increase engagement activities, such as workshops, storytelling to allow us to provide more opportunities to take part for families and young people
    » Develop an accessible building, easing access for parents with young children, those with mobility issues - enabling all to benefit from both theatres

    More performances and events created specifically for families and young people with increased attendances from the whole of the Wakefield community

    Aim 2

    Welcome New Audiences


    » Support early career artists, and artists whose work is best suited to an intimate studio space, offering rehearsal and performance space for both.
    » Create work in a tailored space that celebrates Wakefield’s artistic talent such as The John Godber Company, and Wakefield Youth Music Theatre
    » Add greater cultural diversity of the TRW programme, enabling us to reach out to all parts of our community.

    Large and diverse audiences attracted to new types of performances, developing community integration and social cohesion.

  • Impact


    An expanded programme will cater to a broader range of tastes, including live music and interactive performances. The onsite workshop space will allow us to offer additional learning and participation activity around our main programme and work in the new space, including growth in engagement with visiting schools and colleges and informal post show discussions for audiences. The accessible space will also provide an ideal meeting place for community groups.


    TRW works in an area of overall extremely low arts engagement, and ensures that we have robust audience development and participation plans to increase engagement. We are proud to offer a number of bursaries to young people who would not otherwise be able to engage, and our weekly ‘Performance Academy’ is often at capacity and operating waiting lists in an area of financial hardship. An increase in our facility to accommodate this demand would lead to an upturn in arts engagement.


    Throughout the build, we are recording the project and disseminating images and updates online. This will provide an opening exhibition in the new Centre and an opportunity for donors to celebrate the completion of the building. We also plan for a ground-breaking ceremony and hard hat tours.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £900,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £4,000 Projection Facilities Projection facilities to contribute to the4 dramatic performance and provide a daytime cinema
      £20,000 Sound system Speakers, cables and mixer desk
      £40,000 Theatre lighing Lights, rigging and lighting desk
      £836,000 Construction Constriction of the new Centre for Creativity

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    TRW £88,500 Guaranteed
    ACE £70,000 Guaranteed
    Wakefield Council £200,000 Guaranteed
    Key Fund & Power to Change £200,000 Guaranteed
    Garfield Weston £100,000 Guaranteed
    Foyle Foundation £50,000 Guaranteed
    Theatres Trust £14,822 Guaranteed
    Regional Trusts £83,000 Guaranteed
    Public Donations £59,515 Guaranteed
    Ongoing buy a Star campaign £14,163 Conditional
  • Background


    Theatre Royal Wakefield serves the Wakefield community, and a broader audience from across Yorkshire. Despite our growing audience numbers, and well-subscribed learning programmes for young people, Wakefield remains situated within the lowest 20% for arts engagement nationally. The district has the 8th highest rate of deprivation in the region, with low income contributing significantly to these figures. We keep prices low and provide bursaries to stop economic barriers to participation.


    Expanding the learning work that we currently provide with a new programme of work for children and families will offer opportunities to bond over an enjoyment of the arts. We can grow our ‘Passport to Theatre’ offer, which tackles social isolation among older people and those experiencing mental health issues. The new building will offer more opportunities to get involved in our arts training for young people (often providing bursaries to those who may not otherwise be able to take part).

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Theatre Royal Wakefield is a building at the centre of its community, from the 70 volunteer stewards, to the community amateur dramatic groups that bring new productions to the stage every year. We are the leading venue for bringing touring professional work in to the area and our work with families and young people is developing the future of theatre in this community, providing support, expertise and inspiration.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    John Godber: Creative Director, TRW.

    John was born the son of a miner in Upton, Wakefield and is now one of the most performed writers in the English language.

    Katie Town: Executive Director, TRW

    Experience includes planning new Learning Centre, and devising family Learning programming for the National Theatre

    Jon Ingham: Head Of Fundraising, TRW.

    Previous experience includes successful capital projects for Northern Ballet, National Railway Museum, and NSPCC.

    Rhiannon Hannon: Head Of Learning, TRW

    A Theatre Director & Facilitator with expertise of creating, managing & delivering complex projects with diverse groups.

Message from Dame Widow Twankey

Any theatre needs the powerhouse of creativity to fuel its forward motion. New writing in particular needs nursing and developing before its exposed to the harsh realities of larger spaces. These experiences will encourage new and radical ideas to find a public outlet.

John Godber, Creative Director