Investing in Theatre in Cornwall to Strengthen Communities

Hall for Cornwall, Image by Hugh Hastings

In 2018, Hall for Cornwall, a Grade II* listed building, underwent a significant regeneration project which has added almost 400 more seats to their main auditorium, provided 29% more jobs for the local workforce, doubled size of youth theatre and dance companies, and created flexible workspace to support businesses and individuals in the creative industries. Hall for Cornwall reopened in 2021 and has consistently exceeded the KPIs projected as part of the renovation plans.  

The project shows what can be achieved by partnership working. By working with 9 major funders, the team at Hall for Cornwall were able to secure more than £26m for the works against an independently-predicted economic impact of £54m. Each funder was interested in a different aspect of the project and bids were to funds with many different purposes, for example: 

Hall for Cornwall is now a flexible space for everyone. The playhouse auditorium is more accessible (700 seats with step-free access) seats more people and has improved sight lines, acoustics, and comfort. Backstage, the lighting and sound systems have been improved, increasing the flexibility of the stage for different purposes. The main entrance includes a space for pop-up performances and exhibitions. There is a pioneering pedestrian link throughout the building which not only allows behind-the-scenes glimpses of the daytime workings of the theatre but also connects the space to the main shopping streets to increase footfall and regenerate the high street. Everywhere, from the main entrance to the auditorium to the dressing-rooms, is fully accessible and includes Truro’s only Space to Change facility. 

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