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Play Your Part - Help us get the Belgrade ready for 2021

Posted on 17 May 2019

Calling all Coventrians: your theatre needs you!

With Coventry’s year as City of Culture creeping ever closer, we’ve been putting in place plans to ensure the Belgrade Theatre is a sparkling cultural gem in time for 2021. Taking place over the next 18 months, our 2020 Redevelopment Project will be divided into three separate phases, improving facilities and visitor experience, and enabling us to better serve the communities of Coventry, Warwickshire and beyond.

Phase one will be the much-needed refurbishment of our Main Stage auditorium, part of the Grade II listed, original 1958 building which last year celebrated its 60th anniversary.

Phase two will be the linking up of our ground floor café and first floor Burbidge Room, to create a flexible, combined space for eating, drinking and socialising – an ideal place to grab a bite to eat before a show, or simply to meet up with friends or family for a meal.

The third and final phase of the project will be the transformation of the nearby Jaguar Pub into a “creative talent hub”. Currently sitting empty, the building will be repurposed to provide extra space for rehearsing and developing work, making it an invaluable resource for our youth and community groups and for emerging artists, including those supported by our Springboard talent development programme.

Above this space, a flat will also be available for touring actors and creatives to hire, providing us with a useful new revenue stream, allowing more money to be invested back into our work and improving our resilience at a time when budgets are under increasing pressure.

Thanks to generous support from Coventry City Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), initial funding for the project has already been secured. Now, we’re asking you to Play Your Part and help us raise the final £600,000 to help us hit our target.

Any donation, however large or small, will be gratefully received and recognised, with a whole range of support options available starting from just £5. You can find out more about how to donate and the benefits of each option on our Play Your Part page.

As well as having your name featured in various parts of the building as part of our refurbishment, your donation could also win you money back! We’ve recently launched a monthly Play Your Part lottery. By donating just £5, you can choose to be entered into a prize draw for a chance to take home 20% of the total money raised that month. Full terms and conditions can be found on our Play Your Part page.

Supporters who would like to go the extra mile are also encouraged to get creative and help organise their own sponsored events and activities. If you have an idea you’d like to discuss with our fundraising team, please email playyourpart@belgrade.co.uk or call 02476 846 750 to chat through the details.

Play Your Part - The Full Monty

Meanwhile, businesses will also be able to choose between becoming a Diamond Donor for £2,020, receiving regular updates on their donation and access to number of exclusive benefits; or opting for a bespoke package for £3000 or more, enjoying invitations to exclusive events and a wide variety of opportunities to get closer to performances.

Created for the people of Coventry and Warwickshire as part of the rebuilding of the city after the Second World War, the Belgrade has a long and proud history of working closely with the communities it serves to break new ground and create change in the city and beyond. We hope that by empowering our audiences to play a part in our campaign, we can foster a sense of ownership and pride in the theatre amongst our followers.

Belgrade Theatre Head of Development Helen Hotchkiss said: “This is an incredibly exciting time to live and work in Coventry and we’re particularly proud of all the community, education and talent development work we do at the Belgrade.

“With Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture less than two years away, the 61-year-old Theatre is in need of some refurbishment in order to be a sparkling gem for 2021 and beyond. Our redevelopment project will offer audiences a more enjoyable experience and provide more flexible and innovative spaces for the communities we serve.

“However, as a registered charity (number 219163), we’re reliant on the kind support of audiences, members, funders, corporate partners and donors, so this year, we’re calling on everyone to play their part and support our 2020 Redevelopment Project. Thank you.”

The Belgrade Theatre Trust is a registered charity (number 219163), which means that all the money we are given, raise or earn is not distributed as profit, but is reinvested back into the work we do, including our extensive community, education and outreach work, our talent development projects, and the wide range of productions we create.

As a charity, we continue to rely on the support of donors, Members, trusts and corporate sponsors to enable us to continue with this work. For more information about the Belgrade Theatre and its charity work, please visit our Support Us page.