Image: Rob Brewer, Flickr

One of the most famous theatres in Bristol has received a grant worth hundreds of thousands of pounds for refurbishing work.

The Bristol Old Vic has been awarded £220,500 development grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which could then lead to a second grant of £2.26 million.

The work will mark the 250th anniversary of the Old Vic.

Emma Stenning, Bristol Old Vic chief executive said: “This investment is a vital step forwards for Bristol Old Vic, since its only through our planned heritage project that we can really start to make the most of our organisation’s unique ability to tell a 250 year old story.

“By protecting and conserving our building and archive, and developing new ways to share both with the public, we’ll develop substantial new lines of business for Bristol Old Vic, helping to make our organisation more resilient and sustainable for the long term.

“Theatres need to be diverse businesses in order to survive, and by working with the Heritage Lottery Fund, we’re not only developing new ways for people to connect with theatre and its work, but new ways to bring in money for investment into theatre making and outreach projects.”

The initial grant will go towards a nine-month period of work to prepare for major redevelopment, through various surveys and tests.

The theatre will then submit their application for the confirmed multi-million pound grant, which will go towards refurbishing large parts of the building, protecting parts of the 18th century structure, and the archiving of paper records.

Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “We thought the Trust’s redevelopment project was very timely as it will ensure Bristol Old Vic is in great shape to mark its 250th anniversary.

“We’re hugely supportive of these plans to protect an 18th-century Bristol landmark and to open it up for many more people’s enjoyment.

“We never forget that we can only do our work thanks to National Lottery players and are particularly keen to see the wider area around the King Street site benefit from our investment too.”

The total refurbishing works will cost around £12 million, of which £1.5 million will be paid through the HLF grant.

The Bristol Old Vic has received a grant from the HLF to redevelop the historic building. For more information, click here.