Most Welcoming Theatre Award

UK's Most Welcoming Theatre Award


What makes a welcoming theatre?

There are many things that shape your experience when you visit a theatre; a friendly chat with box office staff, enjoying a delicious coffee in the cafe, feeling like you're part of your local community, or being entertained by the panto! The public  vote gives you the chance to celebrate your local theatre and all it does to welcome you.          

Julian Bird, Chief Executive of UK Theatre, said: “Theatres play a vital role in communities across the UK, so it has been wonderful to see so many votes cast. This award brings together audiences, theatres, performers and producers and gives everyone the opportunity to celebrate their local venue.”

Sally Hughes, MD, The Mill at Sonning, UK's Most Welcoming Theatre 2016/17:"Being able to say that we’re the UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre has undoubtedly attracted more people to visit us and long may that continue."  

Read Sally's blog to find out more about what winning the UK's Most Welcoming Theatre Award meant to them.

UK's Most Welcoming Theatre 2018 Winner - Mill at Sonning

UK Winner

The Mill at Sonning

After an unprecedented 56,000 votes were cast by members of the public, the regional and national winners of the UK's Most Welcoming Theatre 2018 are:


Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch

East Midlands

Buxton Opera House    


Orange Tree Theatre

North East

Newcastle Theatre Royal 

Northern Ireland

Grand Opera House, Belfast

North West

Theatre by the Lake, Keswick


Pitlochry Festival Theatre

South East

The Mill at Sonning

South West

Arts Centre, Swindon   


New Theatre, Cardiff

West Midlands

New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme    

Yorkshire and the Humber

Alhambra Theatre, Bradford

Cassie Chadderton, Head of UK Theatre, said:  ‘It is fantastic to see a record-breaking number of people all over the country casting votes in support of their local theatres this year. This award is a chance to recognise the importance of theatres as valuable cultural hubs, and the loyalty they can inspire by creating a fantastic audience experience – from friendly front-of-house service to engaging outreach projects and imaginative, entertaining programming.’           

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"UK Theatre" is the operating name of UK Theatre Association, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, whose registered office is at 32 Rose Street, London, WC2E 9ET, Company No 323204.